Marine Biology & Aquaculture Research Themes
JCU has many world-renowned researchers who undertake cutting-edge research in their chosen field of marine science or aquaculture.
We are at the forefront of research in a number of marine biology and aquaculture themes, including:
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.
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.
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.
Climate change and potential for adaptation in corals
Mia Hoogenboom, David Bourne
Climate change and potential for adaptation in fishes
Mark McCormick, Geoff Jones, 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.
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.
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.
Impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine communities
Humans have made oceans noisier than they have ever been before. Can animals cope, and if so how?
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.
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.
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.
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.