Prof Terry Hughes is the director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville. He was awarded the 2018 John Maddox Prize for his “courageous efforts in communicating research evidence on coral reef bleaching to the public”. He has also been awarded the Darwin Medal by the International Society for Reef Studies, the Centenary Medal of Australia and an Einstein Professorship by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2016, Nature described him as one of the “10 people who mattered this year”.

What is coral bleaching? When corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients, they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white.

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