I am a joint Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science; and holder of a prestigious Lizard Island Postdoctoral Fellowship. With a background in genetics, and behavioural, spatial and marine ecology, I worked extensively on the science-policy interface and in conservation management before completing a PhD at James Cook University in 2013. In my current research I use molecular techniques to study the pace and variability of genetic adaptation and transgenerational plasticity in coral species, and how these may translate into changes in assemblage composition with progressing climate change.

  • R
  • coral reef ecology
  • coral biology
  • molecular ecology
  • spatial analysis, GIS
  • coral reef ecology
  • coral biology
  • spatial analysis, GIS
  • 2015 to 2018 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2009 to 2015 - Research Officer (p/t), James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2006 to 2008 - Executive Manager / Research Officer, Institute of Ecology and Botany, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Vacratot, Hungary)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2014 - Virginia Chadwick Award for Excellence in Scientific Publishing
  • 2012 - Winner of the 3 Minute Thesis Competition at the Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • 2012 - Best oral presentation – JCU School of Marine and Tropical Biology Symposium
  • 2010 - Best Poster Award – JCU School of Marine and Tropical Biology Symposium
  • 1999 - Prominent Student Award of the Hajdú Gusztáv Foundation
  • 2017 - Lizard Island Postdoctoral Fellowship

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 16+ research outputs authored by Dr Gergely Torda from 2010 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

AIMS@JCU - Scholarship

Non-genetic inheritance of stress tolerance in corals

Indicative Funding
$20,000 over 4 years
This project will assess the capacity of corals to cope with rapid changes in their environment, by evaluating the importance of non-genetic inheritance of acquired stress tolerance from the parental generation following pre-conditioning to ambient and future stress conditions, across successive 1st and 2nd generations of offspring. The research plan involves three components: 1) a +genetic component that aims to correlate changes in physiological traits with gene expression changes in response to stressors; 2) an epigenetic component that examines the relevance of non-genetic inheritance as an evolutionary mechanism to cope with adverse conditions; and 3) a quantitative analysis of the genotypes' and epigenotypes' performance under different environmental conditions. Thus, being a genome-wide typing component to attempt to tease out the relative importance of genetic and epigenetic inheritance.
Jose Luis Montalvo Proano and Gergely Torda in collaboration with T Ravasi and Manuel Aranda (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)
Epigenetics; Pocillopora acuta; Stress Tolerance; Acclimatisation; Corals; Climate Change

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - Reef Guardian Grants

The genomics of bleaching tolerance in a hearty, common reef-building coral: Acropora tenuis

Indicative Funding
Over the last two years, the Great Barrier Reef has suffered unprecedented coral bleaching, leading to a loss of coral cover and biodiversity. This project aims to quantify the consequences of coral bleaching on adaptive genetic variation. This information can be input to future modelling and resilience management techniques. We will address four major questions: 1) does bleaching lead to a loss of genetic diversity in a stress-tolerant species? 2) What genes and physiological traits are involved in stress tolerance? 3) What gene variants allow survival? And 4) Does migration of mal-adapted larvae hinder local adaptation to extreme heat?
Hillary Smith and Gergely Torda (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Acropora tenuis; Genomics; Adaptation; Management; Marine Biodiversity; Climate Change

Lizard Island Research Station - Yulgilbar Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Population genomics of coral recovery at Lizard Island following the 2016 bleaching event

Indicative Funding
The 2016 bleaching event caused unprecedented coral mortality in the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef. In this Project I will: analyze patterns of benthic community changes as function of severe disturbances; assess rates of recruitment of coral species on reefs in the Lizard Island region; and explore genomic changes in populations of selected coral species before and after the major selection sweep caused by the 2016 bleaching event
Gergely Torda (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
evolutionary rescue; no-analog communities; demographic rescue; Coral Bleaching

Ian Potter Foundation - Travel Grant

Travel grant to attende 3rd International workshop on Trait Based Approaches to Ocean Life

Indicative Funding
This is a travel grant for G Torda to attend the 3rd International Workshop of Trait Based Approaches to Ocean Life, Bergen, Norway 20-23 August 2017; and to visit several European research centres to forge collaborations and present his work.
Gergely Torda (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
trait-based ecology; Workshops

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • The Role of Microbes in Acclimatisation of Corals to Environmental Changes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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