reef-encountercoral-reefsThe 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 and a newsletter called Reef Encounter
  • acknowledges the scholarship and work of its members with Society awards and honors.


ISRS Elections – 2014/15: For ISRS President, Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary, and 6 Council Members.

The election for the above posts (three society officers and six council members) is now open. Please visit the following page of the society website in order to cast your votes:


Please vote at your earliest convenience, but in any case by the end of the day on Friday 9th January, 2015.


Coral Reefs – Best Paper of 2013

The Editorial Board and Editors of Coral Reefs have voted Rapid declines in metabolism explain extended coral larval longevity, Coral Reefs 32:539-549, as the Best Paper of last year’s volume of Coral Reefs. Congratulations to the 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 for the first author. In addition there will be printed certificates send to all authors.


New Society Awards and Honors Announced!

BREAKING NEWS: We are now accepting applications for Graduate Fellowships for Coral Reef Ecosystem Research. Applications are due January 9, 2015 (12 PM UTC). Awards are limited to US$2,500. More about the award and the application form can be found at: ISRS Graduate Fellowships 2015.


Since its inception the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) has awarded only four established honors or prizes, and these at only relatively low frequency: The Darwin Medal, once every 4 years, Honorary Membership to a maximum of 10 individuals at any one time, a Best Paper Prize awarded once per year, and one to two Graduate Fellowships in Reef Conservation each year.  Over April to June this year, however, the Council of the Society agreed to establish an expanded system of awards and recognitions as a means by which the Society can acknowledge exceptional achievement or commitment by a larger number of members ranging from students, through early- and mid-career researchers, to the most senior or eminent scientists. The measures include the establishment of ISRS Fellows, and also an award to recognise achievement by under-represented groups. In addition, two new awards, officially recognised and promoted by ISRS, will be available to student members. At each International Coral Reef Symposium, or other Conference sponsored by ISRS, a Best Poster and a Best Presentation Award will be given.

The award system has been designed to be comparable to the recognition systems of other similar scientific societies (e.g. Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, American Geological Society, Geochemical Society, British Ecological Society, etc.). Details about awards, selection process, and application forms, visit the Awards & Honors Page.


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