Welcome to ISRS


The Society

The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) was founded in 1980, after which membership increased rapidly as interest in and concern for coral reefs has grown. It is the principal learned society to which reef scientists and managers from across the world belong.

The principal objective of the Society is to promote the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge and understanding of coral reefs, both living and fossil.

To achieve its objectives the Society:

  • publishes and distributes the well-regarded scientific journal Coral Reefs (click here for ISRS member access)
  • coordinates the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), a major scientific congress held every four years, typically attended by some 2000 delegates
  • promotes or supports smaller regional conferences or inter-congresses, in years between successive ICRS
  • publishes Briefing Papers and Statements on emerging issues related to coral reefs
  • distributes twice yearly a news journal / newsletter called Reef Encounter
  • acknowledges the scholarship and work of its members with Society awards and honors.




Election Results

As recording secretary of the International Society for Reef Studies, I am writing to members to advise them that the candidates elected to office in the recent ballot of the Society were as follows:

President: Ruth Gates (Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, USA)

Vice-President: Yimnang Golbuu (Palau International Coral Reef Center, Palau)

Corresponding Secretary: Rupert Ormond (Marine Conservation International, UK)

Council Members (alphabetical):

David Baker (Hong Kong University, PRC)
Stacy Jupiter (Wildlife Conservation Society, Fiji)
Ilsa Kuffner (US Geological Survey, USA)
Kazuo Nadaoka (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
Serge Planes (Centre de Recherche Insulaire et Observatoire de l’Environnement, Polynésie Française)
Laurie Richardson (Florida International University, USA)
Thamasak Yeemin (Ramkhamhaeng University, Thailand)

The officers have agreed that the above seven (7) members be declared elected to the council (as opposed to the six required) because of a tie between two members for sixth (6th) place. Subject to no appeal being received within the next week, these new officers and council members will take office as from February 1st of this year, 2015. KK


Death of David Stoddart – The Society’s First President

We are sorry to record the recent death (on November 23rd, 2014) of David Stoddart, who was not only the Society’s first President, but also the first editor-in-chief of the society’s academic journal Coral Reefs and a winner of the society’s prestigious Darwin Medal.  Born in 1936, he studied Geography at the University of Cambridge (UK) where he eventually became both a lecturer and a fellow of Churchill College. In 1988 he moved to the University of California at Berkeley where he remained until his retirement in 2000. His main interests were in the physical geography of coral reefs, especially oceanic reefs and atolls. He was a human dynamo both on and off the reef, but the intense tropical sunshine and his robust life style eventually took its toll on his health.David Stoddart

A short obituary has been published in the UK newspaper The Guardian on 9th December 2014 and a more detailed obituary is planned for the next edition of the society’s newsletter Reef Encounter.  One of the best accounts of his life is the one he wrote himself for Atoll Research Bulletin.

CORAL REEFS – Best Paper Award for 2013

The Editorial Board and Editors of Coral Reefs have voted the following scientific paper – Rapid declines in metabolism explain extended coral larval longevity, Coral Reefs 32: 539-549 – as the Best Paper published in last year’s volume of the society’s journal Coral Reefs. Congratulations to the authors: E. M. Graham, A. H. Baird, S. R. Connolly, M. A. Sewell, and B. L. Willis. The Award consists of € 1,000 and an engraved glass paperweight presented to the first author. In addition there will be a printed certificate sent to each author.


Other Recent Society News & Information

  • Invitation to participate in the Ciguatera Session at the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean Scientific Conference in Willemstad, Curaçao, May 18 – 22, 2015 (click here more info).
  • Congratulations to Ove Hoegh-Guldberg for being awarded the Prince Albert II of Monaco Award for his work on coral reefs. Click here for additional details.
  • The latest issue of Reef Encounter (#40 Aug-2014) is now available as well as past issues.
  • Read a recent message from Bob Richmond, President of ISRS.
  • Read a statement about the state of the world’s coral reefs.
  • Mark your calendar! The next International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 13) is to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 19th-24th June 2016.
  • Special low society membership dues are available for students (from as low as $20 per year) and developing country nationals (from as low as $40 per year). Click here for more information.