About the Centre

Effective biosecurity measures are essential to protect Australia’s $32 billion agriculture and aquaculture industries as well as safeguard our unique flora and fauna and growing human population. The challenges will increase with ecological, climatic, demographic, and behavioural changes occurring globally.

James Cook University is focused on meeting the knowledge needs for the grand challenges in the tropics. Tropical Australia is a high-risk region for Australia, due in part to its proximity to neighbouring countries, its high diversity of wildlife reservoirs, and its environmental characteristics. JCU strives to meet the present and future biosecurity challenges for this region, as well as nationally and globally.

The Centre for Tropical Biosecurity at JCU spans three campuses within the tropics: Nguma-bada (Cairns), Bebugu Yumba (Townsville), and Singapore. All three campuses are in environments that are highly relevant to tropical biosecurity. Our Australian campuses and field stations are in close proximity to two natural World Heritage Areas, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest, as well as savannas and livestock stations in the Outback. Our Singapore campus is nestled in a dynamic urban environment at the crossroads of Asia and Oceania.  Our researchers have strong professional connections to indigenous communities, medical and veterinary practitioners, government, international partners, and industry.

We are uniquely geographically and professionally positioned to lead and deliver high quality biosecurity research and training across multiple disciplines. JCU is ideally situated to work with industry, communities, and all levels of government to ensure cost effective biosecurity to meet our needs for now and into the future.

Our aim

The Centre for Tropical Biosecurity at JCU aims to reduce biosecurity threats and impacts in the tropics and beyond by applying JCU’s biosecurity-related research and research training expertise.

Detecting, understanding, and responding to biosecurity threats are among the universal challenges in biosecurity, and the Centre brings together expertise from across the university to address these challenges under six main research themes:

  • Invasive Species Ecology and Management
  • Quantitative Approaches
  • Production Systems
  • Social and Systems Biosecurity
  • Tools and Technology
  • Zoonoses and Emerging Diseases

To read more about this research, please visit our research webpage.

Our logo

Centre for Biosecurity logo.

Our logo was created by JCU alumna and proud Kamilaroi Woman, Merinda Walters.

Merinda titled the logo Ngurru Galuma-li (Noo-roo-goo gah-lah-mah-lee), which means Caring for tomorrow and promotes being proactive, in that be working today we can protect tomorrow. Presented in the form of a meeting place, this element symbolizes the coming together of people to study and develop our understanding of biosecurity and the role we all play in protecting it. Likewise, at the centre of it all is a handprint to represent humankind; how we are fundamentally intwined with nature and it is both our responsibility and also our greatest challenge to preserve and protect nature to ensure a sustainable tomorrow. The ant, leaf, microbe, and cattle icons represent the production systems, invasive species, zoonoses, and social and systems in which the Centre works.

Merinda is an Environmental Scientist, Indigenous Stakeholder Engagement Practitioner, Author, and Artist living in far north Queensland.  Having developed a foundational understanding of biosecurity through her study and profession, Merinda was able to engage with JCU for the development of the logo for the Centre from not only a science background, but also a social and artistic perspective. Recognised by the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia, Merinda is a self-taught artist who utilizes her background in science, engagement, community, and culture to develop authentic artworks that capture aesthetic values and kick starts conversations. Merinda is a proud advocate for combining Western and Indigenous knowledge and sciences to help bring a positive change to all aspects of the human experience.

Mindy's art.