Conferences and Meetings

ISRS is the sponsor of the International Coral Reef Conferences (ICRS), an introduction to which is provided below, and is now organising the next ICRS to be held in Hawai'i in June, 2016 [see next page]. The society also sponsors and supports regional meetings, information about which is provided on the subsequent page, where details of other upcoming meetings are also publicised. Information on these meetings is archived, once they have taken place, on the final page of this section.


The first International Coral Reef Conference (ICRS) was held in India in 1969, and the second in 1974 on board the cruise ship Marco Polo, while sailing the length of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, an experience those who attended are unlikely to forget!  Since then they have been held every approximately four years as follows:

3rd (1977) Miami, Florida, USA 

4th (1980) Manila, Philippines 

5th (1985) Tahiti, French Polynesia

6th (1988) Townsville, Australia

7th (1992) Guam

8th (1996) Panama

9th (2000) Bali

10th (2004) Okinawa, Japan

11th (2008) Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

12th (2012) Cairns, Australia

The next conference (ICRS13) will be held in Honolulu, Hawai'i, in June 2013.  details may be found on the next page [see next page], and on the dedicated conference website: .


ICRS Structure and Plenary Speakers

ICRS conferences have been attended by up to 2,500 delegates and included up to 20 or more parallel sessions, as well as daily plenary sessions.  The plenary speakers since 1988 have been:

1988 Townsville (6th)

PJ Davies “Evolution of the Great Barrier Reef - Reductionist dream or expansionist visiting”

PF Sale “What coral reefs can teach us about ecology”

1992 Guam (7th)

Bob Buddemeier “Corals, climate and conservation”

Clive Wilkinson “Coral reefs of the world are facing widespread devastation: can we prevent this through sustainable management practices?”

H Chansang, E Jordaon -Dahlgren, ED Gomez, and B. Salvat “International commentary on the plenary addresses”

1996 Panama (8th)

JH Connell “Disturbance and recovery of coral assemblages

ME Hay “The ecology and evolution of seaweed-hervivore interaction on coral reefs:

SP Hubbell “A unified theory of biogeography and relative species abundance and its application to tropical rain forest and coral reefs”

BG Hatcher “Coral reefs: How much greater is the whole than the sum of the parts"

J Cortés “Biology and geology of easter Pacific coral reefs:

B Brown “Coral bleaching: causes and consequences”

RR Warner “Evolutionary ecology: how to reconcile pelagic dispersal with local adaptation”

BL Willis, RC Babcock, PL Harrison, CC Wallace “Hybridization and breeding incompatibilities within the mating systems of mass spawning reef corals”

SR Palumbi “Molecular biogeography of the Pacific”

JBC Jackson “Reefs since Columbus”

RG Fairbanks, MN Evans, JL Rubenstone, RA Mortlock, K Broad, MD Moore, CD Charles “Evaluating climate indices and their geochemical proxies measured in corals”

RW Grigg “Paleoceanography of coral reefs in the Hawaiian-Emperor Chain - revisited”

EC Gomez “Reef management in developing countries: the Philippines as a case study”

JW McManus “Tropical marine fisheries and the future of coral reefs: a brief review with emphasis on Southeast Asia”

IJ Dight and LM Scherl “The international Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI): global priorities for the conservation and management of coral reefs and the need for partnerships”

2000 Bali (9th)

Megawati Soekarnoputri - Vice President of Indonesia - keynote

Anugerah Nontji “Coral reefs of Indonesia: past, present, future

A Alcala and GR Russ “Role of socioeconomic factors in coral reef protection and management:

CC Wallace “Journey to the heart of the centre - Origins of high marine faunal diversity in the central Indo-Pacific from the perspective of an acropologist”

M Omori “Coral reefs and coral reef studies in Japan”

J Veron “Reticulate evolution in corals”

B Salvat “Agenda 21, International coral reef initiative and new millennium: progress and prospects for coral reefs”

2004 Japan (10th)

T Hughes “Biogeography, climate change and evolution of coral reefs” (Keynote)

J Veron “Coral taxonomy, biogeography and evolution: a tortuous pathway”

L Charpy “Importance of cyanobacteria in coral reefs: paleo (stromatolites), benthic (microbialites) and planktonic (Trichodesmium and other) with a special focus on calcification and nitrogen cycle”

K Konishi “Pioneers and founders of coral reef studies in Japan and their international cooperation”

R Kenchington “Priority issues in coral reef management: Key outcomes of the Second International Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium (ITMEMS2)

J Chappell “Reef provinces and refugia: expansions, contractions and shocks to coral reefs throughout Quaternary climatic cycles”

S Andrefouet “The diversity and extent of plant Earth’s modern coral reefs as viewed from space”

M Tsuchiya “Towards integrated coral reef science: a new challenge for conservation and restoration of coral reefs"

2008 Fort Lauderdale (11th)

M McCulloch - "Lessons from the past"

J Kleypas - "Helping coral reefs through the climate change crisis:  mission possible"

R Iglesias-Prieto “Photophysiology, bleaching, and adaptation”

B Cowen “Population connectivity in coral reef systems”

D Harvell “Drivers of coral infectious disease”

D Pauly “Coral reef fisheries: A re-assessment of their ecological and socioeconomic impacts”

Terry Hughes “Darwin medal lecture: Science, policy and the future of coral reefs"

2012 Cairns (12th)

J Lubchenco “From science to policy”

J Jompa "Reefs in the Coral Triangle”

D Allemand “Coral calcification”

G Jones: "Larval fish dispersal”

P Kareiva: “Just how fragile are coral reefs?”

H Marsh “Conserving coral reef megafauna”

M van Oppen “Can old corals learn new tricks?”

J Jackson “The future of corals and coral reefs”

O Hoegh-Guldberg “Coral reefs and global change"


In addition plenary addresses have been given by the Society's Darwin Medalists and the Society Presidents:

Darwin Medalists:

1988 David Stoddart (6th - Inaugural recipient, Townsville)

1992 Peter W. Glynn (7th Guam)

1996 Ian G. MacIntyre (8th Panama)

2000 Yossi Loya (9th Bali)

2004 J. E. N. (Charlie) Veron (10th Okinawa)

2008 Terry Hughes  (11th Ft Lauderdale)

2012 Jeremy Jackson (12th Cairns)



a European Regional Meeting  is planned for December 2017, probably in London, UK.

A South American Regional Meeting is also being considered.

Details will be posted when they are available.



The following is a list of other coral reef and reef-related conferences and workshops supported by the Society, or brought to our attention. Further details of the meetings are provided on subsequent pages or on the websites indicated. To have a conference or meeting included on these pages please contact the society's recording secretary (  or corresponding secretary (


Coral Reef Related Meetings

  • The 10th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference (IPFC10), will take place in Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia from the 2nd to the 6th of October 2017 at the Maison de la Culture
    ( The Organizing Committee is preparing an
    interesting program, with the main theme of previous IPFCs, including many symposia on a range of topics such as systematics, evolution, phylogeny, ecology, behavior, and conservation. Colleagues who would like to organize sessions are kindly requested to contact David Lecchini <>
    The call for sessions will be open in February 2016, and a dedicated website be available from January 2016.


  • The European Geosciences Union General Assembly will be held 17-22 April 2016 in Vienna, Austria, and will include a session on coral reef and reef island geomorphology and their response to environmental change (past, present and future). Abstract submission and conference information can be found at:  The deadline for abstract submission is 13 January 2016.
    Opportunities for financial support for Early-Career and scientists from low- and middle-income countries are available (, the deadline for these applications is 1 December 2015.


  • SIRTRE (Small Islands Research in Tropical Regions) 2015 – "The Spermonde Archipelago and other Case Studies" - will take place from 15th to 16th September 2015 in Makassar, Indonesia.  This interdisciplinary conference is dedicated to long lasting studies of the coral reefs of the Spermonde, Archipelago, Sulawesi, Indonesia, but will also include case studies from other regions in East Asia. It . Please see the conference website for details (


Other Relevant Meetings

  • 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Honolulu, Hawaii - July 12 - 16, 2015 [see]
  • 3rd International Conference on Ecology, Ecosystems and Climate Change, Athens, Greece - July 12 - 15, 2015 [see]
  • SER 6th World Conference on Ecological Restoration, Manchester, UK - August 23 - 27, 2015 [see]