Dr Colin Simpfendorfer
Director, Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture &
Associate Professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University
BSc (Hons) James Cook University
PhD, James Cook University
Visit: Room DB034-141, Townsville campus
Call: (+61) 7 4781 5287
Fax (+61) 7 4725 4099
Colin Simpfendorfer is the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture at James Cook University. He has more than 25 years of experience in researching sharks, and has published extensively in the scientific literature on shark biology, ecology, fisheries and conservation. His expertise on sharks has been recognized by his appointment as the Regional Chair (Oceania) for the IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group and as the Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s Shark Resource Assessment Group. Colin is a graduate of James Cook University, having undertaken both his undergraduate and postgraduate training in Townsville. After completing his PhD he worked on shark fisheries at the Western Australian Fisheries Department before moving to Florida to work at the Centre for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory. He returned to JCU in 2007 to lead Fishing and Fisheries Research Centre where he has helped build a research group focused on improving our understanding of sharks and how best to conserve and manage their populations.
�Status and sustainable use of elasmobranch populations. The vulnerability of elasmobranch populations to over-exploitation is now widely recognised.I have led or participated in several studies on the status of elasmobranch populations, including in Western Australia, Queensland, South Africa, the Atlantic and globally.These studies have included research examining the population dynamics of elasmobranchs and assessment of the sustainable take levels.
�Science for the conservation of elasmobranch populations. The lack of biological and ecological data for endangered species is a significant barrier to effective conservation of endangered species.I have led studies on endangered sawfish populations, including on the demography, life history, genetics and habitat use.These studies have been used to produce recovery plans in both the USA and Australia for sawfish populations.
�Analytical tools for acoustic monitoring studies. I have developed several techniques for use with acoustic monitoring data.This includes the position averaging algorithm, performance metrics and 3D home range analysis.In addition, I have collaborated on studies where acoustic monitoring data have been used to investigate movement, aggregation, home range, mortality and marine protected areas. These studies have provided fundamental changes in our understanding of the ecology of sharks and marine ecosystems.
�Life history of elasmobranchs. Life history studies are fundamental to the development of a broader understanding of population dynamics and ultimately the development of improved management and conservation of marine animals. Throughout my career I have undertaken a wide range of life history studies, including research on age and growth, reproduction, feeding and mortality. These studies have provided the building blocks of more detailed work on demography, population dynamics and stock assessment.
�Nursery areas for sharks. I published a widely cited paper on shark nursery area as part of my PhD research. This paper established the concept of communal nursery areas in the literature (areas where juvenile sharks of several species coexist). Since this time I have conducted a range of research on nursery areas.
My research has focused on the elasmobranch fishes (sharks and rays), and has included studies of life history, fisheries assessment, population dynamics, habitat use, conservation biology, parasites, and more.This research has occurred in Queensland (JCU), Western Australia (WA Department of Fisheries) and Florida (Mote Marine Laboratory).
Simpfendorfer CA, Wiley TR and Yeiser, BG. 2010. Improving conservation planning for an endangered sawfish using data from acoustic telemetry.Biological Conservation 143:1460-1469.
Simpfendorfer, CA, and Kyne, P. 2009. Limited potential to recover from overfishing raises concerns for deep-sea sharks, rays and chimaeras. Environmental Conservation 36:97-103.
Simpfendorfer, CA, McAuley, RB, Chidlow J, and Unsworth, P.2002.Validated age and growth of the dusky shark, Carcharhinus obscurus, from Western Australian waters.Marine and Freshwater Research, 53: 567-573.
Simpfendorfer, CA, Heupel, MR, and Hueter, RE.2002.Estimation of short-term centers of activity from an array of omnidirectional hydrophones, and its use in studying animal movements.Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 59: 23 - 32.
Simpfendorfer, CA and Milward, NE.1993.Utilisation of a tropical bay as a nursery area by sharks of the families Carcharhinidae and Sphyrnidae.Environmental Biology of Fishes, 37:337-345.