Dr. Ray Berkelmans

Dr. Ray Berkelmans worked for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) from 1986 to 1999 on impact assessment, and research procurement to assist management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. He joined AIMS in 1999 to undertake research into climate change impacts and adaptation of coral reefs, with this period including a PhD (2002) in marine biology and aquaculture at the School of Marine Biology, James Cook University.

Dr. Berkelmans’ research interests focus on climate change effects on coral reefs and in particular thermal stress causing a breakdown in the symbiosis between corals and their algal symbionts: zooxanthellae. As a physiological ecologist, he is interested in the large-scale picture as well as the finer-scale science behind coral bleaching. Adaptation to climate warming, resilience of reef communities and upwelling are current research pursuits. He also runs a long-term temperature monitoring program in Australia’s tropical and subtropical coral reefs.