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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Associate 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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Claudia Benham

Lecturer in Environmental Management, Adjunct Research Fellow



+61 7 4181 4571

Claudia is an interdisciplinary marine and social scientist specialising in tropical environments. Her recent work has explored the ecological and social impacts of industrial development in Australia and the Pacific region.

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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 Cobcroft



Jennifer's aquaculture research largely focuses on solving challenges in the hatchery production of marine finfish species. Her research includes optimising tank environmental conditions and water treatment systems.

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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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 Roger Huerlimann

Postdoctoral Research Fellow



+ 61 7 4781 5443

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.

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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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Dr Agnes Le Port

Research Fellow



+61 7 4781 6073

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.

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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 Paul McShane

Professorial Research Fellow


Paul leads a JCU collaborative project with the UAE government directed at developing innovative approaches to the blue economy including: aquaculture, AI, health, biotechnology and the IoT.

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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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Dr Catarina Silva

Postdoctoral Research Fellow



+61 7 4781 5745

Catarina’s research involves understanding processes related to marine population dynamics, investigating the complex mechanisms driving the distribution of organisms and the evolutionary aspects of adaptation.

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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 Lynne van Herwerden

Senior Lecturer



+61 7 4781 6286

Lynne researches connectivity and population structure, emphasising conservation and fisheries management applications, as well as acclimation and adaptation of tropical fishes to environmental stressors.

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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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Associate 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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