Our Aquaculture researchers are world-leaders in tropical aquaculture research and development, with a particular focus on genetics, nutrition, aquatic animal health, physiology, hatchery production, algae, husbandry, post-harvest processing and sustainable practices. JCU Aquaculture has also led the development of large and successful commercial aquaculture projects globally.
Aquaculture, Fisheries, Marine Biology, Genetics
Evolution and function of marine - Jan Strugnell, Catarina Silva
We investigate the evolution and function of marine organisms using genomic and proteomic techniques. Our research encompasses both applied and blue skies questions including helping to solve bottlenecks in fisheries and aquaculture industries
Aquatic Animal Health
The Aquatic Animal Health team conduct research which enables fisheries, aquaculture and Australian quarantine to make informed decisions in regards to stock structure, disease management and import regulations.
Biotechnological and genetic solutions for aquaculture
Aquaculture Genetics - Professor Dean Jerry
Research in this theme generates knowledge and develops new biotechnological tools to assist in aquaculture selective breeding programs. This includes understanding the genetic basis of commercially important traits, identification of quantitative trait loci, population and genetic diversity analysis, genome analysis, selection and looking at microbiomes and how they influence production and disease.
Human dimensions of aquatic resources and production
Research on the sustainability of fishers, producers, industries and communities involved in aquatic food production; how to deal with change in fisheries and aquaculture to ensure aquatic food security; identification of adaptation strategies.
Novel aquatic products and applications
Culture systems provide the ability to develop a wide range of novel products for human, animal and plant use. This includes the ability to utilise waste streams from industrial and agricultural systems to provide remediation and access to resources.
Nutrient requirements and nutritional physiology for fish, crustaceans and molluscs
Aquatic animal nutrition - Dr Leo Nankervis
Feed inputs for aquatic animals and one of the largest costs for aquaculture operations, both from a financial and sustainability perspective. Providing inputs essential for optimal growth while also contributing to product quality and health, nutrition is at the core of global aquaculture industries. With strong industry links, this research contributes directly to sustainable aquafeed development through developing a greater understanding in the areas of nutrient requirement, raw material quality, product quality and aquatic animal health. The nutrition team are engaged with direct commercial links including aquafeed benchmarking and bioactive ingredient evaluation.
Seafood, Health and Allergens
This research team uses cutting-edge approaches in characterising the interactions of immunogenic proteins from different food sources including fish, crustacean, mollusc and parasites with the human immune system leading to allergic and inflammatory reactions.
Sustainable Wild Fisheries
The Sustainable Wild Fisheries team are world-leaders in the sustainable development of tropical aquatic resources. Researchers work to maximise the social, environmental and economic benefits of wild fisheries and ensure the long-term sustainability of aquatic resources in Australia and the tropics worldwide.
Find more about these projects on our Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fishers and Aquaculture website.
James Cook University is ranked first in the world as a provider for education in Marine Biology and related disciplines. Our focus is tropical marine biology and sciences. Our graduates have a reputation for scientific rigour and breadth of understanding.
All our staff are active researchers, and many are world leaders in their chosen fields. These leading specialists coordinate the undergraduate subjects, do the face-to-face teaching and supervise the researchers of the future.
Climate change and potential for adaptation in fishes
Geoff Jones, Mark McCormick, Philip Munday, Mike Kingsford, Lynne van Herwerden
Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide is warming oceans and changing ocean chemistry. This theme examines how climate change affects fishes, their ecology and physiology. It also uses laboratory experiments to examine their capacity to adapt to these environmental changes across generations.
Anthropogenic impacts on marine mega-fauna
Mark Hamman, Mariana Fuentes
This research focuses principally on turtles and dugongs and examines how these creatures can survive in a changing world.
Ecosystem connectivity of fishes
Marcus Sheaves, Ronnie Baker, Adam Barnett, Katya Abrantes, Ross Johnston, Mike Kingsford
Studying connectivity in the coastal landscape for marine fishes that use freshwater wetland nurseries. Part of this includes studies of the stage-specific habitat requirements of fishes.
Impacts of coal dust on marine systems
Coal is a major export for Australia, and large quantities fall into inshore reefs while being loaded onto ships. This research explores the extent and nature of the problem.
Impacts of microplastics on marine systems
Mia Hoogenboom, Lynne van Herwerden
Small plastic particles are chemically active and have the ability to disrupt marine foodwebs. Research is starting to understand the startling breadth of the impact of this ubiquitous pollutant.
Marine reserve management
No-take marine reserves are seen by management as the saviour of biodiversity because they allow a part of an ecosystem to exist away from human harvest. There are many predictions of the usefulness of marine reserves for management and biodiversity, but little data exists. This research examines the utility of marine reserves from both the side of the marine organisms that may benefit from protection and the human aspects that are central to their success.
Theoretical and statistical modelling in marine ecology
At best we can quantify what is happening now, but if we are to predict population, community or ecosystem dynamics into the future, then we need to convert changes in the short-term into numbers and model the system.
Tropical fisheries and management
Garry Russ, Colin Simpfendorfer, Mike Kingsford
The main way humans interact with sealife is through fishing and harvest, and the livelihoods and economies of many tropical communities rely on nutrition collected from the sea. This research focuses on species important to fisheries – top predators- the cods, groupers, snappers and sharks – and the effects of fishing on their ecology.
Coral Reef Evolution and Ecology
David Bellwood & lab - Coral Reef Ecosystem Function
Our goal is to understand how coral reefs function. This encompasses the evolution of coral reefs over the last 100 million years and the ecology of living reefs. The focus is on fishes and corals. The ultimate goal is to guide the management of reefs over the next few decades as they reconfigure following human-induced disruption.
Reef and Ocean Ecology
Reef and Ocean Ecology Laboratory largely focus on whole organism marine ecology. The emphasis of those in the laboratory is on ecological questions that relate to reef fishes, the habitats they live in and the degree to which they are protected. We also work on the oceanographic links between populations of fishes and invertebrates. As a result of venturing into the pelagic environment we have also had many projects on the ecology jellyfishes, including those that are dangerous to humans.