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Marine Biology and Aquaculture Staff

Associate Professor Mia Hoogenboom

Head of Marine Science and Aquaculture, Coral Reef Ecologist

Mia focuses on how processes acting at the physiological scale influence the growth, survival and reproduction of corals and other marine organisms, using a combination of lab experiments, field work and mathematical models.

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Distinguished Professor David Bellwood

Australian Laureate Fellow, Marine Biology

David’s work on coral reef evolution and ecology includes palaeontology, molecular biology, ecosystem function, biogeography and social-ecological systems. His goal is to understand the functional ecology of coral reefs.

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Dr Orpha Bellwood

Senior Lecturer

Orpha's teaching areas include the evolution and ecology of reef fishes, marine biogeography, biological oceanography, invertebrate biology and the fossil record of dinosaurs and vertebrates through time.

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Dr David Bourne

Senior Lecturer, Principal Research Scientist at AIMS

David's research is in molecular microbial ecology focused on microbial diversity, structure and function in reef ecosystems. Activities include determining the role of microbes in maintaining coral fitness.

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Dr Reniel Cabral

Senior Lecturer, Fisheries

Ren combines ecological and economic theories and methods, big data analytics, and computation to find solutions to fisheries and conservation problems.

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Dr Kelly Condon

Lecturer, Aquaculture

Kelly specialises in aquatic animal health, with a focus on viral and bacterial diseases of tropical aquaculture species. She teaches and co-ordinates the JCU subjects Introduction to Aquaculture and Sustainable Aquaculture.

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Professor Sean Connolly

Adjunct Professor, Marine Biology

Sean uses a mix of mathematical modelling and empirical work to research the origin and maintenance of biodiversity, and to understand the ecological impacts of human-induced environmental change.

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Dr Naomi Gardiner

Senior Lecturer

Naomi's research explores the drivers of coral reef and coastal ecosystem function in order to improve livelihoods and food security in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly coastal and island based fishery dynamics in Indonesia.

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Associate Professor Mark Hamann

Senior Lecturer

Mark's research focuses on biology and conservation of threatened marine and freshwater species; and understanding impacts of plastic pollution and other human-based threats on marine systems.

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Dr Kate Hutson

Adjunct Associate Professor

Kate's researches aquatic animal parasitology issues that threaten wild, farmed and ornamental fishes. Her work integrates parasite species discovery and biology with practical techniques to deliver tangible outcomes for industry.

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Professor Dean Jerry

Promotional Chair, Aquaculture

Since joining JCU, Dean has built an internationally recognised research group with a major focus on the development of genetic tools and knowledge to inform selective breeding programs for aquaculture species.

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Distinguished Professor Geoffrey Jones

Marine Biologist

Geoffrey's fields of interest include the ecology and behaviour of reef fishes; human impacts on coral reef populations, and the importance of marine reserves for conserving marine biodiversity and sustaining fisheries.

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Distinguished Professor Mike Kingsford

Lecturer, Marine Biologist

Mike is a Chief Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Innovative Coral Reef Studies. He researches the connectivity of reef fish populations, environmental records in corals and fishes and irukandji jellyfishes.

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Dr Leo Nankervis

Senior Lecturer, Aquaculture

Leo’s research interests include using physiology to solve commercially relevant production bottlenecks, raw materials for aquafeeds, nutrient requirements, digestive processes in aquatic organisms, taste and palatability.

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Professor Rocky de Nys

Research Leader, Aquaculture

Rocky manages industry partnerships that take the outcomes of aquaculture research to deliver innovative products and processes ranging from food products to fertilisers, biological carbon capture and storage using biochar.

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Professor Garry Russ

Professor and Chief Investigator

Garry's research studies the biology and fisheries of species of reef fish of commercial and recreational fishing significance. Specific areas of research include age and growth, reproduction, mortality, movements and stock assessment.

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Dr Janine Sheaves

Lecturer, Marine Biology

Janine’s research focuses on the spatial structure and temporal dynamics of benthic invertebrates in tropical transitional wetlands.

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Professor Marcus Sheaves

Coastal Ecosystem Ecologist

Marcus' research interests include understanding the nursery ground value of coastal systems for fisheries species, and reconciliation of tropical coastal ecosystem health and resilience with sustainable fishing industry.

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Professor Colin Simpfendorfer

Adjunct Professor, Personal Chair

Colin 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.

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Dr Patrick Smallhorn-West


Dr Smallhorn-West has a background in coral reef science. His research focuses on the intersection between conservation and food security, with a particular attention on small-scale fisheries.

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Associate Professor Jan Strugnell

Director of the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture

Jan applies next generation sequencing tools to help solve bottlenecks in fisheries and aquaculture industries. Her laboratory group is investigating population differentiation, recruitment and adaptation in a range of lobster species.

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Associate Professor Chaoshu Zeng

Research Leader

Chaoshu's research interests include: culture techniques for commercial crustaceans and marine ornamentals; ecophysiology and behaviour of crustacean larvae and juveniles; and toxicology of effluent water to aquatic animals.

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Associate Professor Kyall Zenger

Marine & Aquaculture Sciences

Kyall has more than 20 years’ experience conducting research and teaching within the disciplines of applied animal production and quantitative / evolutionary genetics on both aquatic and terrestrial animals.

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Research staff

Dr Andrew Chin

Research Fellow FRDC Shark Report Card

Andrew works on assessments of Australia shark and rays species and their management. He also has research interests in integrating traditional knowledge and management systems into mainstream fisheries management.

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Dr Andrew Cole

Research Fellow

Andrew leads the Products from Oedogonium project within the Centre for Macroalgal Resources and Biotechnology. This program works on the bioremediation of agricultural, municipal and industrial waste waters.

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Dr Roger Huerlimann

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Roger's research interests lie in the development and application of 16S diversity profiling, metagenomic, transcriptomic, and genomic tools to help improve tropical aquaculture industries.

Dr Clive Jones

Principal Research Fellow

Clive is an internationally recognised expert in the aquaculture of rock lobster and freshwater crayfish. At JCU he leads research projects that are developing aquaculture production technology for commercial application.

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Dr David Jones

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow

David researches applying genetic and genomic tools to address research questions with a strong applied aquaculture industry focus. He has worked in quantitative and population genetics of marine wildlife and commercially important species.

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Dr Agnes Le Port

Research Fellow

Agnes’ research focuses on the use of cutting-edge and traditional molecular approaches for the protection of Australia’s aquatic fauna. She is developing innovative eDNA methods for detecting pest and conservation species.

Dr Nicolas Neveux

Senior Research Worker

Nicolas' work focuses on the production of marine and freshwater macroalgae in integrated land-based systems, particularly in the context of bioremediation of aquaculture effluents and municipal wastewater.

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Dr Tine Praeger

Research Fellow

Trine's research focuses on the controlled reproduction of macroalgae at scale in order to provide a reliable source of seedlings. Her work develops bioremediation technologies for the aquaculture industry.

Dr Cassandra Rigby

Research Fellow

Cassandra has worked in a range of fields encompassing aquaculture, benthic ecology, taxonomy, and fisheries management. At JCU she works on shark conservation projects in the Pacific and Australia.

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Dr David Roberts

Adjunct Research Fellow

David's research interests are in marine ecology, ecotoxicology and the application of algal-based bioremediation technologies for the treatment of industrial waste water. He lead a number of projects investigating seaweed biomass.

Empro Bette Willis

Marine (Coral) Biologist, Adjunct Professor

Bette's research focuses on understanding inter-kingdom symbiotic partnerships that underpin coral health, factors driving outbreaks of coral disease, and the potential for corals to adapt to a changing environment.

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