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2019 Laureate Profile: Professor David Bellwood



Professor David Bellwood

Professor David Bellwood 

Administering Organisation: James Cook University
Discipline area: Biological Sciences and Biotechnology

Fellowship project summary: 

FL190100062:This project aims to identify the key ecosystem functions that are needed to sustain coral reefs and determine their susceptibility to disturbance. Around the world coral reefs are changing fast, challenging traditional scientific, management, and governance approaches. This project plans to address this challenge by implementing a new, functional, approach exploiting a unique combination of evolutionary and ecological methodologies. Expected outcomes include a global overview of ecosystem function and an in-depth understanding of how ecosystems change over time. This is likely to result in specific, and practical, management objectives by identifying crucial ecosystem functions that support reefs and the people who rely on them.

Australian Research Council funding: $3,130,000

About Professor Bellwood

David Bellwood is a Distinguished Professor at James Cook University, a Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies.

Professor Bellwood’s research interests encompass the evolution and ecology of reef fishes. The central theme of his research is to understand the role that fishes play on coral reefs, from the origins of herbivory in the Cenozoic to the role of fishes in maintaining reef resilience. His approach is largely based on ecology, although it encompasses functional morphology, molecular phylogenetics, and palaeontology.

For his research achievements, Professor Bellwood was awarded the Jubilee Award by the Australian Marine Sciences Association in 2018, the Bleeker Award in ecology in 2017 and was named an Australian Academy of Science Fellow in 2016.

Find out more about Professor Bellwood’s research by visiting his profile page on the James Cook University website. For further information about this funding scheme, please visit the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme page on the ARC website.

Image credit: James Cook University.

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