JCU Eduquarium Our Research

Our Research

We love marine and freshwater research and are a group of hardcore scientists, based on the James Cook University Campus in Cairns.

How to find us

Cairns Parking Map

Download the Cairns Campus Parking Map here
(PDF, 552 KB)

The eduQuarium is our playground where we can ask and answer all the critical research questions like Do box jellyfish sleep at night? How do cone snails catch their prey? And what is the most venomous fish in the world?

Our research team is made up of students, academics and professionals from various backgrounds, interested in cutting-edge marine and freshwater research in the Tropics.

We couldn’t do all of this without our thriving network of educational and industry partners and are looking into strengthening these bonds through collaboration and applied research.

The Tropical Australian Stinger Research Unit (TASRU), which was founded in 2000, allows for joint research between medical and biological researchers on box jellyfish, or cubozoans.

Today, our eduQuarium research team together with TASRU continues to research box jellyfish and other venomous animals to manage their effects on humans and, along with the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), discover potential uses of venoms for novel therapeutics.

Some of our current projects include:

  • First Aid of Tropical Jellyfish Stings and its Implications for Treatment Protocols
  • The Ecophysiology of Box Jellyfish
  • Geospatial Distribution Patterns of Box Jellyfish
  • Identify Factors Influencing the Variability of Survivorship of Juvenile Redclaw Crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus in Aquaculture
  • Stonefish Venom Analysis and Comparison of Venom Profiles
  • The Venom Ecology of the Cone Snail Conus litteratus

View our publications

Jamie Seymour

Robert Courtney

Vanessa Neale

Damian Rigg

Latest Research

The Winston Churchill Fellowship

The Dr Dorothea Sandars and Irene Lee Churchill Fellowship to increase the knowledge of rearing Box and Irukandji jellyfish in captivity - USA

by Associate Professor Jamie Seymour

Download the full report here

Conclusions:

It would appear that the techniques used by the USA and Japan have several things in common, such as the necessity to use kreisels to successfully rearing any type of jellyfish, however there are different techniques used in both countries that could usefully be combined to produce a more efficient and successful rearing strategy for jellyfish. In short, the America system is geared to produce large volumes of jellyfish but is very labour intensive. Conversely, the Japanese system is very technologically rich, but suffers from some parts of the rearing system that are very labor intensive (such as the collection of ephyra that is done by hand, unlike the USA system where they are mass harvested). By combining the use of new kriesel shapes and technology employed by the Japanese and the mass harvesting techniques used by the USA, I believe a much more efficient and successful system can be implemented.

It is without doubt that the Japanese have made a quantum leap forward in rearing of cnidarians and it would appear that this has come about by them spending a lot of time first working out the general biology of the species that is to be reared. This was particularly evident in the Karmo aquarium where the director of the facilities promotes the idea that observations of what is happening in the cultures is very important and should be regularly reported. This is something that I believe is paramount in any aquarium system if cnidarian husbandry is to be successful in the long term.

Overall, I felt that Australia has a far better understanding of the biology of box and Irukandji jellyfish and by using the techniques used for rearing other jellyfish in America and Japan that we can successfully rear these animals.

Keywords: Jellyfish, Box Jellyfish, aquariums, rearing, husbandry, cubozoans, scyphozoans