One Tree Island is a coral cay of about 4 hectares, situated at the southeast end of its reef which is 5.5 km long and up to 3.5 km wide in size. It lies in the centre of the Capricorn Group of the Great Barrier Reef, about 20 km east of Heron Island and about 100 km off the Queensland coast from Gladstone.
The Australian Museum began research at One Tree Island in 1965 and it has been managed by the University of Sydney since 1974. The site is renowned for Great Barrier Reef research with a bibliography of 400+ titles.
Research at the station focuses on climate change and bleaching, eutrophication of reef systems, carbonate chemistry, geology, sedimentation, bird ecology, sustainability and the ecology of reef organisms.