The Bellwood Lab

reef fish evolution and ecology

The Lab

Professor David Bellwood and his Lab study the evolution and ecology of fishes on coral reefs. The main focus of this research addresses how fishes perform functions which allow coral reefs to withstand and recover from disturbances.


​The varied research conducted in the Bellwood Lab demands extensive fieldwork and a wide array of research methods. Recent projects have used molecular phylogenetics, acoustic tracking, modelling and morphometrics in field and lab based studies.



The Bellwood Lab is in the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences at James Cook University's Townsville Campus in North Queensland, Australia.


James Cook University (JCU) has a global reputation for excellence in the field of marine biology and ranks 1st worldwide for citations in coral reef science. Its excellent staff and facilities, including Orpheus Island Research Station are essential to much of the research conducted in the Bellwood Lab.

8th november 2013

David receives an ARC Discovery grant to fund research until 2016.

Under construction

The Bellwood Lab is getting a new website. Please be patient!

5th december 2014

Congratulations to Sophie Gordon for receiving a first class Honours degree!

The university

​The headquarters of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies is based at James Cook University. The Centre undertakes world-best integrated research for the sustainable use and management of coral reefs.


David Bellwood has been closely involved with the Centre of Excellence since it was founded in 2005. He has acted as a program leader and more recently a chief investigator. Members of the Bellwood Lab benefit from these close associations with the Centre of Excellence and the experience of its staff.