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


Drought experiment led by TESS’s Susan Laurance celebrated along with Daintree Rainforest Crane

Drought experiment led by TESS’s Susan Laurance celebrated along with Daintree Rainforest Crane

This week marks the twentieth birthday for the towering crane that stands at the heart of James Cook University’s Daintree Rainforest Observatory (DRO) at Cape Tribulation

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Tessian's Fabio Roque and Yoko Ishida proposes the importance of monitoring Networks to evaluate biodiversity conservation in Brazil

Tessian's Fabio Roque and Yoko Ishida proposes the importance of monitoring Networks to evaluate biodiversity conservation in Brazil

A brief review of ongoing Brazilian national initiatives that would allow the construction of a general biomonitoring network scheme in protected areas; with additional focus on linking independent monitoring schemes.

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In world’s best journal, TESS’s Bill Laurance argues that many planned infrastructure projects should be stopped

In world’s best journal, TESS’s Bill Laurance argues that many planned infrastructure projects should be stopped

Scientists must call out — not merely greenwash — infrastructure building that will ruin environments, lives and economies, urges William Laurance.

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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.