Coral community dynamics in isolated reefs of New Caledonia in the context of ocean warming


Coral communities are increasingly threatened by environmental changes, and are declining. A quantitative understanding of drivers of coral performance is key to anticipating future declines and identifying conservation solutions. This Ph.D. investigation will combine ecological and physiological approaches to characterize drivers of coral dynamics in remote coral reefs of New Caledonia’s Coral Sea Natural Park. Using field measurements in the isolated reefs of d’Entrecasteaux and Chesterfield, the Ph.D. candidate will investigate the links between coral physiological state (associated symbiont communities, photosynthesis, respiration, fecundity, bleaching sensitivity) and population dynamics (survival, growth, recruitment), and implications for coral trajectory in changing environments. This work will support coral reef management in the Natural Park of the Coral Sea by assessing the health and vulnerability of the coral communities, and strengthen understanding and predictions of coral community dynamics more generally.

Applicants should have a Master's degree in ecology/marine biology or equivalent.

Required skills/experience:

-          good mastery of statistical tools: GLMs (coding in R)

-          good level of scientific writing

-          field experience

Optional competences

-          French professional diving certificate (CAH), or equivalent

-          Python programming language

Please send your request and CV to and

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Coral Reef New Caledonia, © ​​​​​​Boussion M. IRD