The world’s coral reefs are under significant pressure due to a wide range of natural and anthropogenic impacts. One such disturbance is coral disease, a phenomenon that has been reported to be increasing in prevalence and virulence over the past thirty years. Although there have been many studies of pathogenic infections affecting scleractinians, these have focused on only a few diseases. One little studied condition is brown band syndrome, which was observed for the first time on reefs in the Great Barrier Reef in 2002. A study was initiated to characterise a number of key aspects of the ecology of brown band syndrome, specifically prevalence and rate of progression of the infection within colonies on a number of reefs within the central Great Barrier Reef region. Future directions for research in this field are discussed.