Dr Andrew was born and raised in southeast Asia where he became fascinated with fish and fisheries, especially sharks. After his family returned to Australia, Andrew pursued his passion for marine science and has been working in marine research since the 1990s, first in the marine ecotourism and education industry, and then ten years working at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) on coral reef surveys, impact assessments and environmental monitoring. He also developed training and capacity building and Citizen Science programs such as the Eye on the Reef Program. While at the GBRMPA, Andrew was also the editor of the State of the Great Barrier Reef Report, a synthesis of the status, pressures, management and state of knowledge about the Great Barrier Reef. He is currently an editor for the journal Pacific Conservation Biology

Since moving to James Cook University in 2008, Andrew's research has focused on coastal ecology and fisheries, particularly sharks and rays. He is especially interested in the life history and spatial ecology of coastal predators, inter-disciplinary fisheries and conservation research, and has keen interests in coastal fisheries in SE Asia and the Pacific. Andrew is involved in research on shark fisheries in Papua New Guinea, and also works in Indigenous Knowledge and community based coastal and fisheries management, such as with the Yuku Baja Muliku Traditional Owners in Cape York. He is currently working on a project with commercial fishers to trial new gear to reduce the bycatch of sharks in gillnets. In previous projects, Dr Andrew worked on satellite tagging hammerhead sharks, and the 'Shark Report Card" an assessment of Australia's sharks. He is one of the founders of the Oceania Chondrichthyan Society, a scientific society supporting research, management, and conservation of sharks and rays, and is a long term member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group. Andrew also serves on the scientific advisory board of the Save Our Seas Foundation

Andrew also has research interests in coral reefs and in the effects of climate change on coastal fisheries and sharks and rays, and risk assessment and synthesis approaches to inform policy development. In 2011, he wrote The status of coral reefs of the Pacific and Outlook 2011  which synthesised the status, current level of knowledge, and future outlook for the coral reefs of 22 Pacific Island nations. In Oct 2017, Andrew launched Shark Search Indo-Pacific, a new long term program to document the diversity and values of sharks and rays across the Indo-Pacific, and the threats they face across the region. Each country report builds the foundations for interdisciplinary community-based research and management projects to tackle these issues. 

Andrew is also committed to teaching and outreach. He teaches fisheries subjects MB5610, MB5014/3014, and MB5620 at JCU, and runs intensive field-based coral reef ecology and marine park management courses for third year and postgraduate students. He works with the tourism industry Master Reef Guides, writes articles about marine research for mainstream media. From time to time, he takes (frozen) sharks and rays to surrounding high schools to help students understand the importance of fishing sustainably and of protecting marine habitats. This includes a long involvement with the ATSIMS program to encourage Indigenous school students to get involved with marine science.  

  • BS1001: Introduction to Biological Processes (Level 1; TSV)
  • MB3014: Managing Tropical Fisheries (Level 3; TSV)
  • MB5610: Fishing Gear and Technologies (Level 5; TSV)
  • MB5620: Grand Challenges in Fisheries (Level 5; TSV)
  • Capacity building and collaborative learning with traditional communities in the Pacific, specifically in understanding and empowering communities in using Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Traditional Fisheries Management in mainstream natural resource management
  • Working with communities to develop tourism and environmental education opportunities as alternative livelihoods, and as a means to foster stewardship of the marine environment
  • Marine interpretation and environmental education
  • Sustainable coastal fisheries, including life history and ecology of target and bycatch species
  • The spatial ecology of coastal and coral reef fishes, particularly sharks and rays
  • The effects of climate change on sharks and rays
  • Ecological effects of predators on marine ecosystems
  • The contribution of marine protected areas to managing and conserving mobile marine predators
  • Coastal fisheries and traditional communities throughout the Pacific
  • State of the environment assessment and reporting
  • Fisheries management and sustainability
  • Conservation and management of the marine environment - specifically coastal and coral reef ecosystems
  • 2016 to 2018 - Research fel,low AIMS@JCU, JCU & AIMS (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2013 to 2015 - Research Fellow, James Cook University (Queensland, Australia)
  • 2008 to 2013 - PhD Candidate, James Cook University (Queensland, Australia)
  • 1998 to 2013 - Education officer, Reef HQ Aquarium (Queensland, Australia)
  • 2010 to 2011 - Chief Investigator - consulting, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (Townsville, New Caledonia, French Polynesia)
  • 1998 to 2008 - Project Officer and Project Manager, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Queensland, Australia)
  • 1998 to 1999 - Intern, Australian Institute of Marine Science (Townsville, Australia)
  • 1998 - Marine Biologist, Heron Island Resort (Queensland, Australia)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2018 - Winner College of Science and Engineering 3MT competition [science communication]
  • 2017 - Australian Coral Reef Society People's Choice award for the conference presentation "Do Marine Parks Save Sharks?"; established researcher category
  • 2017 - Winner Early Career Researcher category and People's Choice category, 3MT competition
  • 2015 to 2016 - Science Ambassador - Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in Marine Science program
  • 2015 - Queensland Young Tall Poppy Award for "outstanding achievement in scientific research and science communication"; Australian Institute of Policy and Science
  • 2014 - Dean's Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence
  • 2013 - Science Ambassador for the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in Marine Science (ATSIMS) Program 2013
  • 2008 to 2013 - Conference awards from the Australian Coral Reef Society, Australian Society for Fish Biology, Australian National Network in Marine Science, Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility, and James Cook University
  • 2007 - Commonwealth Medal for efforts in environmental impact assessment, environmental monitoring and promoting sustainable management of sharks and rays in the Great Barrier Reef
  • 2004 - Churchill Fellowship, Conservation and management of coastal sharks and rays
  • 2010 to 2018 - Australian Society for Fish Biology
  • 2007 to 2018 - IUCN Shark Specialist Group
  • 2007 to 2018 - Founding member of the Oceania Chondrichthyan Society, current Vice President
  • 1998 to 2017 - Australian Coral Reef Society
  • 2010 to 2012 - Society for Conservation Biology

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 60+ research outputs authored by Dr Andrew Chin from 2003 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries - Contract Research

Scientific advice underpinning shark smart messaging ? Phase 1

Indicative Funding
$11,665 over 1 year
Examine and synthesise the scientific evidence underpinning Shark Smart messages to advise QLD DAF and communities about the scientific voracity surrounding safety advice and community claims. This is the first phase of a larger project. Funding for Phase 2 will depend on the outcomes of Phase 1.
Andrew Chin in collaboration with Michael Joyce and Kristen Hoel (College of Science & Engineering)
Shark; Safety; Risk; Evidence; Attack

Shark Conservation Fund - Small Grant

Southeast Asian shark and ray research and conservation capacity building workshop 2019

Indicative Funding
$34,035 over 1 year
Capacity building workshop for South East Asian shark and ray researchers, NGOs, academics, fisheries officers and government agencies. The project will bring together participant from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines for a workshop at JCU-Singapore in shark field research techniques, analysis of movement data and fisheries risk assessment.
Andrew Chin and Neil Hutchinson in collaboration with Vinay Udawyer (College of Science & Engineering and Australian Institute of Marine Science)
capacity building; Fisheries; Shark; Marine Parks; Management; conservaton

Shark Conservation Fund - Small Grant

Improving the understanding of threatened wedgefish and guitarfish to inform CITES assessments

Indicative Funding
$32,248 over 2 years
There is limited biological and ecological information on guitarfish and wedgefish globally that impedes the development of suitable management. This project aims to investigate the global species diversity and abundance of wedgefish and guitarfishes using Baited Remote Underwater Systems, estimate the population productivity and intrinsic risk of extinction of wedgefish and guitarfish, and identify trends in catch rates and species composition and any demographic patterns in Indonesian tangle net fishery catch. Results of the study will be critical in improving the conservation and management outcomes for these vulnerable elasmobranchs and provide key data to inform the preparation of proposals for CITES CoP18 proposals.
Brooke D'Alberto and Andrew Chin in collaboration with Colin Simpfendorfer and William White (College of Science & Engineering and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)
Rhinobatiformes; Extinction risk; Threatened species; CITES; Life History; BRUVS

QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries - Grant

Survey of users of Cid Harbour regarding shark smart behaviours

Indicative Funding
$40,492 over 1 year (administered by BioPixel Oceans Foundation Limited)
Project will conduct surveys of tourists and recreational users in Airlie Beach to examine their activities and behaviours, knowledge and awareness of 'shark smart' behaviours. Surveys will also examine local and tourism industry knowledge and preceptions about the history of use and behaviour of tourists and recreational users in the Whitsundays. This project is a rapid response project that has arisen directly from community and industry concerns about recent shark incidents in the Whitsundays. The project team will work closely with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, tourism industry representatives, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the Local Marine Advisory Committee. JCU is operating under a subcontract from BioPixel Oceans Foundation Limited which won the tender in mid-December 2018.
Amy Diedrich and Andrew Chin (College of Science & Engineering)
Tourism; Safety; Shark; attack

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission - Contract Research

Operational Planning for Shark Biological Data Improvement Terms of Reference

Indicative Funding
$40,450 over 1 year
The objective of this study is to compile, review and prioritise a list of biological data gaps for the WCPFC key shark species and propose a practical plan for filling them
Colin Simpfendorfer and Andrew Chin (College of Science & Engineering)
Shark; Life History; research planning

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Research Program - Marine Biodiversity Hub

Exploring the status of Australia's hammerhead sharks

Indicative Funding
$64,709 over 5 years (administered by AIMS)
Hammerhead sharks are the focus of conservation management through recent listing on CITES and CMS. However, the state of knowledge of hammerhead sharks in Australia requires exploration. Data on hammerhead interactions with fisheries, life history and ecology will be gathered to address this need. Collected data will be used to construct a series of conceptual models of population structure of hammerhead sharks in Australia. This analysis will refine the status of these speciews and identify re3quired research or management. This project precedes targeted research to provide information required for effective management of these populations.
Colin Simpfendorfer and Andrew Chin in collaboration with Michelle Heupel and William White (Australian Institute of Marine Science, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation and College of Science & Engineering)
Fisheries Management; hammerhead sharks; status assessment

ACIAR - Research Grant

Sustainable management of the shark resources of Papua New Guinea: socioeconomic and biological characteristics of the fishery

Indicative Funding
$161,192 over 6 years (administered by CSIRO)
The shark fishery in PNG is the country's5th most important export fishery worth about K8 million annually. Sharks are also important to the artisanal fishery and are a potential resource for ecotourism. It is also highly likely that the shark resources of PNG are shared with neighbouring countries, e.g. Australia, Indonesia, and adjacent South Pacific island nations such as the Solomon Islands. Sharks and rays are particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation due to their life history characteristics, and declines can affect livelihoods of communities. The PNG National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has identified a need to improve fisheries management, underpinned by an assessment of the shark and ray fisheries.
William White, Ludwig Kumoru, Colin Simpfendorfer, Sharon Appleyard and Andrew Chin in collaboration with Jonathan Smart (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, National Fisheries Authority, Papua New Guinea and College of Science & Engineering)
Shark; Ray; Papua New Guinea; Fishery; Management; Conservation

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These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Life history, ecology and fisheries impact on Carcharhinus sealei and Carcharhinus tjutjot: implications for conservation and management (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Conservation Biology of Wedgefishes and giant guitarfishes (Order Rhinopristiformes) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Distribution, Abundance and Conservation Threats of Elasmobranchs in the River Systems of Papua New Guinea (PhD , Primary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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