CSTFA Our People Academic staff

Academic staff

Professor Jan Strugnell

Director of the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture



+61 7 4781 6357

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 Amy Diedrich

Deputy Director of the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture



+61 7 4781 4627

Amy is an environmental social scientist, focusing on understanding the interactions between people and marine environments. Specifically, she seeks to identify socio-economic and cultural factors that influence sustainable livelihoods.

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Professor Dean Jerry

Promotional Chair, Aquaculture



+61 7 4781 5586

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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Dr Jane Addison




    Dr Addison is a social-ecological systems scientist, and senior lecturer. Her research interests include environmental/social and economic trade-offs in development, development futures, resource institutions, the livelihood/conservation nexus, off-reserve conservation and strategies for managing variability and uncertainty.

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    Professor Ellen Ariel

    Associate Dean, Research Education



    +61 7 4781 4123

    Ellen worked for the European Commission for 11 years with bio-security of aquatic animals. Her main research interest is aquatic animal health. She is the coordinator for the Aquatic Animal Health group.

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    Dr Reniel Cabral

    Senior Lecturer, Fisheries




    Dr. Cabral combines ecological and economic theories and methods, big data analytics, and computation to find solutions to fisheries and conservation problems. He is particularly interested in problems where science and scientific innovations can help overcome bottlenecks to effectively address fisheries and conservation challenges.

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    Dr Andrew Chin

    Research Fellow FRDC Shark Report Card



    +61 7 4781 4486

    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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    Associate Professor Jennifer Blair


    Associate Professor Blair actively engages in sharing research results and novel technologies with students, industry, and scientists through workshops and practical training. She is passionate about equipping students and doing research that both contribute to the sustainable and profitable growth of the aquaculture industry.

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    Dr Kelly Condon




    +61 7 4781 6842

    Dr Kelly Condon specialises in the discipline of aquatic animal health, with a focus on viral and bacterial diseases of tropical aquaculture species

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    Dr Leo Foyle

    Senior Lecturer



    +61 7 4781 6647

    Dr Foyle works within the production and hygiene of foods of animal origin, food security and subsistence farming, production animal disease, welfare at slaughter, zoonoses and biosecurity.

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    David Jones


    Dr. Dave Jones is a researcher specializing in using genomics within advanced breeding programs for aquaculture species.

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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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    Dr April Hall

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow


    April's research activities explore fundamental concepts of coral reef fish ecology, with a particular focus on marine parks management and conservation of coral reef fish communities.

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    Dr Neil Hutchinson

    Senior Lecturer Environmental Science, JCU Singapore


    Neil's research focuses on how mobile organisms utilise often heavily impacted coastal habitats, such as mangroves and seagrass beds. He is currently examining the ecology of mesopredators, including bamboo sharks, in these systems.

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    Associate Professor Katheline Hua

    Principal Research Fellow Aquaculture, JCU Singapore


    Katheline's primary research interest is to optimal fish feed formulations to promote fish growth and nutrient utilisation. One of her expertise areas is nutritional modelling.

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    Elecia Johnston

    Postdoctoral Researcher



    +61 7 4781 3248

    Elecia's research focuses on immunotherapy, the molecular basis of therapeutics, and addressing shellfish food allergens.

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    Dr Clive Jones

    Principal Research Fellow



    +61 4232 1430

    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 Sandip Kamath

    AITHM Research Fellow



    +61 7 4781 4846

    Sandip's research focuses on the characterisation of allergenic proteins from different food and inhalant sources and their interaction with the human immune system through IgE antibodies.

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    Professor Andreas Lopata

    Personal Chair, leads the Molecular Allergy Research Laboratory



    +61 7 4781 4563

    Prof Lopata’s research examines the interactions of immunogenic proteins from different food sources including marine invertebrates with the human immune system leading to allergic reactions.

    Dr Leo Nankervis

    Senior Lecturer, Aquaculture



    +61 7 4781 6524

    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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    Associate Professor Leigh Owens

    Adjunct Associate Professor



    +61 7 4781 4632

    Leigh is Australia's foremost aquatic animal disease specialist. His research focuses on bacteriophages, paroviruses and nodaviruses of fish and crustacea, with RNA interference as a control.

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    Associate Professor Damien Paris

    Reproductive Physiology



    +61 7 4781 6006

    Damien is a biologist with interests that include developing assisted reproductive technologies for animal production, and studying the impact of adverse environmental conditions on fertility.

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    Professor Marcus Sheaves

    Coastal Ecosystem Ecologist



    +61 7 4781 4144

    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



    +61 7 4781 5287

    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 Matthew Vucko

    Adjunct Senior Research Fellow



    +61 7 4781 5343

    Matthew leads the Animal Nutrition and Health project at MACRO. His research focuses on the development of algal feed and algal feed additives for animal production systems.

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    Associate Professor Chaoshu Zeng

    Research Leader



    +61 7 4781 6237

    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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    Professor Kyall Zenger

    Head of Marine Science and Aquaculture



    +61 7 4781 6532

    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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    Caroline Candebat

    The physiological plasticity of yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) in response to varying nutrition: improving YTK aquaculture through better feed formulation.

    Dr David Mills

    Research Fellow



    +61 7 4781 6747

    Originally from Tasmania, David joined WorldFish in Malaysia in 2006 working on projects relating to fisheries information systems, governance, fisheries and food security, and aquaculture development in Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Vietnam, Philippines, and Solomon Islands. Since returning to Australia in 2011, David has been a visiting scholar at JCU, and has led the development of…

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    Prof David Bourne

    Professor, Promotional Chair, Marine Biology



    +61 7 4781 4790

    David Bourne has a joint position as a Senior Lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville and Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). His training is in the area of molecular microbial ecology with his research focused on investigation of microbial diversity, structure and function in complex ecosystems.

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