The Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science (TESS) is based at James Cook University (JCU), Australia's leading tropical research university.

Our mission is to promote cutting-edge ecological and environmental research in the tropics, and the wise management, conservation and sustainable use of tropical terrestrial and coastal ecosystems, in Australia and internationally.

Latest news


TESS’s Sue Laurance in video on tropical research

TESS’s Sue Laurance in video on tropical research

Susan Laurance describes the excitement of working on the frontiers of science. She describes the incredible experiment to create drought conditions in the Daintree Rainforest and what we can learn about how climate change is affecting our environment.

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Ecological Society of America Recognises TESS’s Bill Laurance

Ecological Society of America Recognises TESS’s Bill Laurance

Conserving Species in a Fragmented World: The Established Researcher

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Improved roads in the right places can reduce deforestation

Improved roads in the right places can reduce deforestation

TESS team shows that road improvement enhances smallholder productivity and reduces forest encroachment in Ghana

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Outstanding Research

TESS research addresses the pressing, complex, trans-disciplinary and interconnected issues of S3D – Sustainability Science and Sustainable Development – across the tropical world


JCU is the only Australian university to receive the highest ranking of 5 (well above World Standard) in Environmental Science and Management in the Australian Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment for every round.

JCU's unique location enables researchers and students from Australia and overseas to work in a diverse physical environment unparalleled by any university in the world. Nowhere else is it possible to visit reef, rainforest and savanna in a single day, returning to world-class laboratory facilities in a vibrant and attractive tropical city.