International Coral Reef Society

The International Coral Reef Society (ICRS; previously the International Society for Reef Studies) is an international, not-for profit, scientific society dedicated to the conservation of coral reefs through science and understanding. Founded in 1980, the primary objective of ICRS is the improvement of scientific knowledge and understanding of coral reefs, both living and fossil.


To achieve its objectives the ICRS prints and distributes the journal Coral Reefs[1] as well as a Society newsletter, Reef Encounter.[2] The ICRS also holds annual meetings and co-sponsors other gatherings, symposia and conferences relating to coral reefs.


ICRS organizes the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), which is held quadrennially. The last symposium was the Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2016.

The symposium has previously been held in Cairns, Queensland, Australia (2012); Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States (2008), Okinawa, Japan (2004), Bali, Indonesia (2000), Panama City, Panama (1996), Guam (1992), Townsville, Queensland, Australia (1988), Tahiti, French Polynesia (1985), Manila, the Philippines (1980), Miami (1977), on board the M.V. Marco Polo in Australian waters (1974), and Mandapam Camp, India (1969, the first symposium).[3] Published proceedings of the ICRS are available at ReefBase.[3]


The Darwin Medal, the most prestigious award given by the International Society for Reef Studies, is presented every four years at the International Coral Reef Symposium. It is awarded to a senior ICRS member who is recognized worldwide for major contributions throughout her or his career. The medal has been awarded seven times; recipients are David Stoddart, Peter Glynn, Ian Macintyre, Yossi Loya, Charlie Veron, Terry Hughes, and Jeremy Jackson.[4]


  1. "Coral Reefs - incl. option to publish open access". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  2. Reef Encounter, International Coral Reef Society.
  3. "International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) Proceedings". ReefBase.
  4. Darwin Medal, International Coral Reef Society.
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