International Coral Reef Society

Member Type: 
Non Governmental Organization

The ICRS (formerly 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 2016, our society has 1969 members in 78 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 similar 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, or through other means of communication.
  4. To publish and distribute papers, treatises, or 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 similar 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, makes a series of awards to promote research by members and pays particular attention to younger scientists and conservationists through a range of incentives and student activities. Two committees, one on Education and Communication, and one on Conservation, facilitate these areas of involvement for the membership.

ISRS has a News Journal called Reef Encounter that is published twice a year and is free to download for members and non-members at

Published by Springer, Coral Reefs is the official journal of ISRS. This quarterly publication provides a venue for multidisciplinary research across the broad fields of reef studies, with relevance to modern and/ or ancient reefs.

Sue Wells
ISRS Conservation Committee, chair
Rupert Ormond
Corresponding Secretary
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Last Updated: 28 January 2019