Cathy completed her undergraduate degree in Biological Oceanography at the University of New South Wales in 1983. While working for NSW FRI on environmental impact assessment on marine temperate reefs, she completed her MSc on enhancement of artificial structures to improve fish recruitment. From 1992 to 1996 Cathy was involved in the development of databases, resource surveys and management for Papua New Guinea fisheries, then briefly in the PNG Highlands on a database program with an international NGO. Returning to Australia for 2 years, she worked on a post-larval coral reef fish database at AIMS, and as an environmental consultant. From 1999-2004, she investigated the capture and culture of post-larval coral reef species (PCC) for the aquarium trade as a sustainable livelihood for Pacific Island communities in Solomon Islands. 

Since returning to Australia in 2004, Cathy has been involved in Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)-funded projects on sustainable aquaculture development in the Pacific Islands region and northern Australia – initially at the Northern Fisheries Centre and with JCU since 2007. Her focus is on mariculture of the valuable sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra (sandfish). She is currently engaged in a JCU-ACIAR mariculture capacity building project in Kavieng, with the specific role to develop community sea ranching of commercial sea cucumber species. This is also the subject of her part-time PhD thesis, which aims to identify optimum places and methods to carry out sea cucumber farming, and examine how Pacific island communities that traditionally fish wild sea cucumbers will respond to this new mariculture activity.

  • 2007 to present - Principal Research Officer, James Cook University (Cairns, QLD, Australia)
  • 2004 to 2007 - Senior Fisheries Biologist, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (Cairns, QLD, Australia)
  • 1999 to 2003 - Senior Research Associate, WorldFish Center (formerly ICLARM) (Gizo, Solomon Islands)
  • 1998 to 1999 - Project Manager, The Ecology Lab P/L (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
  • 1997 - Experimental Officer, Australian Institute of Marine Science (Townsville, QLD, Australia)
  • 1993 to 1996 - Biologist, Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources (Kavieng, PNG)
  • 1985 to 1993 - Technical Officer, NSW Fisheries Research Institute (Cronulla, NSW, Australia)
Socio-Economic Objectives

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 15+ research outputs authored by Dr Cathy Hair from 2008 onwards.


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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