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.

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TESS is very proud to announce our 2019 Retreat winners! image

TESS is very proud to announce our 2019 Retreat winners!

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TESS’s Sean Sloan studies regional reforestation across the tropics image

TESS’s Sean Sloan studies regional reforestation across the tropics

The forest-transformation narrative was presented as a complement to the forest-transition narrative, appearing particularly suited to Southeast Asia. There, planted areas are extensive and expansive, but related net tree cover gains are rare and tenuous, reflecting political-economic trends in forest management.

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TESS’s Bill Laurance gives keynote address at Brazilian nature congress image

TESS’s Bill Laurance gives keynote address at Brazilian nature congress

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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.