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 Lucas Cernusak shows terrestrial plants respond to anthropogenic increases in atmospheric CO2

TESS’s Lucas Cernusak shows terrestrial plants respond to anthropogenic increases in atmospheric CO2

An accurate understanding of the impacts of climate change on terrestrial vegetation is essential for managing risks associated with human-caused climate change: gauging the historic response of terrestrial photosynthesis is an important step in this direction

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TESS's Noel Preece raises concerns rangers don’t receive the funding they deserve

TESS's Noel Preece raises concerns rangers don’t receive the funding they deserve

Australia heavily relies on the work of Indigenous rangers to meet our conservation targets, but they’re being short-changed by federal government funding.

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TESS’s Damien Paris and team develop a supplement to mitigate heat damage to boars sperm

TESS’s Damien Paris and team develop a supplement to mitigate heat damage to boars sperm

Antioxidant supplementation during tropical summer appears to mitigate the negative impact of heat stress on DNA integrity but not concentration nor motility of boar spermatozoa; which may provide one solution to the problem of summer infertility in the pig.

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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.