Our world-renowned coral reef scientists have already begun the process of identifying a list of 50 reefs. 

The 50 Reefs Scientific Steering Group are overseeing a landmark study to identify the reefs that are least vulnerable to climate change and that also have the greatest capacity to repopulate other reefs over time. The group are assessing the key criteria that will be used to develop the list of reefs through the deployment of a decision algorithm.

This process of identifying the 50 reefs will be based on the best available science, and will be a transparent process with details of the study to be published. This is the first global study of its kind.

This panel is coordinated by the Global Change Institute and The Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions at The University of Queensland.


The Scientific Steering Groups consists of world-renowned coral reef scientists, leading experts in their field representing regions around the world.

Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

Chief Scientist, 50 Reefs

Professor and Director, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland


Dr. Maria Beger

University Academic Fellow in Marine Conservation Science

University of Leeds


Dr. C. Allen Chen

Research Fellow

Academia Sinica


Dr. Josh Cinner

Professional Research

James Cook University


Dr. Emily Darling

Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Toronto


Dr. Mark Eakin

Coordinator, Coral Reef Watch

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration



Prof. Ruth Gates

Research Professor and Director

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa


Prof. Nick Graham


Lancaster University


Dr. Nancy Knowlton

Sant Chair for Marine Science

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Dr. David Obura


CORDIO East Africa


Dr. Steve Palumbi

Professor of Biology, Stanford University

Director, Hopkins Marine Station



Prof. Hugh Possingham

Professor, The University of Queensland (Chief Scientist, The Nature Conservancy)


Dr. Mark Spalding

Honorary Research Fellow, The University of Cambridge (The Nature Conservancy)


Dr. Charlie Veron

Coral Reef Research


Dr. Hawthorne Beyer

Research Fellow

Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland


Dr. Emma Kennedy

Research Fellow

Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland