International Society for Reef Studies

The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) is the leading international association for coral reefs scientists and managers, founded in 1980 to promote scientific knowledge and understanding of coral reef ecosystems. As of 2017, our society has 1033 members in 67 countries, working for a wide diversity of research and conservation institutions and initiatives. Under its constitution, the objectives of the ISRS are:

  1. To promote global awareness of, and concern for, coral reefs and associated habitats.
  2. To promote the production of scientific knowledge and understanding of coral reefs, both living and fossil.
  3. To disseminate scientific knowledge and understanding of coral reefs by holding or sponsoring meetings, symposia, conferences, and other means of communication.
  4. To publish and distribute papers, treatises, and other materials relating to coral reefs and to the business of the Society.
  5. To contribute sound scientific advice to policy-making and public discussions about the use, management and conservation of coral reefs and associated habitats.
  6. To seek funds or other support from members of the Society, and from other sources, to further the objectives of the Society.

The Society co-hosts the quadrennial International Coral Reef Symposia, and also organizes and supports regional meetings. It produces briefings and statements on issues of global concern, sponsors a series of awards to promote research by members, and provides particular attention to younger scientists and conservationists through a range of incentives and student activities. Three committees, two that each focus on Education and Conservation that facilitate these areas of involvement for the membership, and one led specifically for and by students.

IYOR Activities Plan

ISRS Council and members

 Conservation Committee (

  • Production of briefing on impacts of sunscreens on coral reefs: February 2018
  • Articles on IYOR in two issues of Reef Encounter

Education Committee(

  • List of coral reef related courses that may be of interest to professional researchers, students or citizen scientists: Regularly updated
  • Provides an archive of educational and outreach resources, including public talks, university lectures, leaflets, booklets, and internet tools: Regularly updated
  • Members will deliver appropriate lectures about coral reefs, throughout the year, for example,
  • Young Ambassador Award that will recognize students that create media describing how they will or have already made a difference to a country’s coral reefs

Student Committee

  • Sponsor a pledge platform that will utilise and develop students’ knowledge and public engagement skills: March 2018
  • Invite and publish blog submissions and Twitter posts that highlight current efforts and events that promote coral reefs: February 2018
  • Share outreach and educational materials on blog to promote IYOR: March 2018
  • Recognize a student who makes the most significant contribution to IYOR:  December 2018

Twitter: @ISRSreefstudent


Last Updated: June 12, 2018