Dr. Damien Paris is Head of the Gamete and Embryology (GAME) Laboratory at James Cook University. He is a cross-disciplinary reproductive/molecular biologist passionate about developing assisted reproductive technologies for animal breeding and conservation, as well as understanding the impact of adverse environmental conditions on fertility. He and his team produced the first macropods by artificial insemination, developed an antioxidant diet to protect pig sperm from heat-induced DNA damage, and developed a sperm freezing technique suitable for sperm banking and artificial insemination in the endangered African wild dog. Moreover, he has worked with a diversity of other domestic and wild species including primates, marsupials, horses, fish, frogs and crayfish. His group uses sperm cryopreservation, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, hormones and behaviour coupled with gamete & molecular analysis tools to investigate the underlying mechanisms that affect gamete (sperm & egg) quality & embryo survival in both aquatic & terrestrial animals. Moreover, his group actively develops mitigation strategies that will ultimately improve breeding and conservation management of these species.

Dr. Paris has a BSc First-Class Honours in plant genetics/molecular biology (Monash University, Australia), a PhD in mammalian reproduction (University of Melbourne, Australia), and was a Marie Curie Incoming International Fellow (University of Glasgow, UK) and Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands) before joining JCU in 2011. He has worked at several other prominent Australian and international research institutions throughout his career including the Monash Institute for Medical Research, Monash University, Murdoch Royal Childrens Institute, Baker Medical Research Institute and CSIRO (Australia); Wildlife Breeding Resource Centre (South Africa); and Max Planck Institute (based in Ivory Coast).

Current projects in the GAME Lab include:

·       Novel appeasing pheromones to minimise stress & aggression & bolster reproductive & immune function in African wild dogs – P. Riddell.

·       Development of advanced reproductive techniques to characterize (in)fertility & accelerate selective breeding in barramundi (Lates calcarifer) – A. Marc.

·       Saving a cryptic tropical species: integrating spatial and reproductive sciences to conserve the endangered pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) – E. Erazo-Mera.

·       Development of redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) sperm technologies for commercial crayling production – J. Aquino.

·       Development of redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) egg and embryo technologies for commercial crayling production – N. Nur un.

·       A conservation management toolkit: Developing assisted breeding and behavioural management tools for the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) – F. Van den Berghe.

·       Revisiting summer infertility in the boar: impact of heat stress on the quality and DNA integrity of spermatozoa, and its mitigation by antioxidant therapy – S. Peña.

·       Impact of Chytridiomycosis on sperm quality in the endangered Corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree) – P. Frías-Álvarez.

·       Equine embryos and embryonic stem cells: defining reliable markers of pluripotency – D. Paris.

Available projects in 2021:

·       Development of redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) intensive breeding and husbandry technologies for commercial crayling production.

  • BM1002: Anatomy and Physiology 1 (Level 1; TSV)
  • MD1020: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 2 of 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • PP2201: Medical Physiology 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • PP3251: Systemic Pathophysiology and Therapeutics (Level 3; TSV)
  • PP5002: Literature Review (Level 5; TSV)
  • PP5005: Special Topics in Physiology (Level 5; TSV)
  • PP5251: Systemic Pathophysiology and Therapeutics (Level 5; TSV)
  • TV1103: Fundamentals of Veterinary Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • TV2102: Integrated Animal Structure and Function 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • Solving fertility problems in terrestrial and aquatic animal production systems
  • Conservation of endangered species and preservation of their biodiversity
  • Public dissemination of research to improve societal impact
  • Impact of adverse environmental factors on fertility and early embryo survival
  • Application of assisted reproductive technology to domestic and wild animal production
  • Sperm adaptations to sperm competition within the female reproductive tract
  • Providing undergraduate students with authentic research experiences (BM1003, TV2002, TV3001)
  • Increasing student participation in Higher Degree Research studies (PP3201/PP5201, PP5002, PP5005, Biomed Honours, PhD)
  • 2020 to present - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2015 to 2019 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2012 to 2013 - Grad Cert Edu (Tertiary Teaching), James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2007 to 2010 - Research Fellow, Universiteit Utrecht (Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  • 2005 to 2007 - Marie Curie IIF Fellow, University of Glasgow (Glasgow, United Kingdom)
  • 2000 to 2004 - PhD (Reproduction), University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia)
  • 1991 to 1994 - BSc Hons I (Genetics), Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2020 to 2023 - RTPS PhD Scholarship to P. Riddell (~AUD $240,000)
  • 2019 to 2022 - JPRS PhD Scholarship to J. Aquino (~AUD $200,000)
  • 2019 to 2022 - JPRS PhD Scholarship to N. Nur un (~AUD $200,000)
  • 2020 - JCU CPHMVS Research Excellence Award (Biomedicine)
  • 2017 to 2020 - JPRS PhD Scholarship to A. Marc (~AUD $200,000)
  • 2016 to 2019 - APA PhD Scholarship to S. Ryan (~AUD$ 200,000)
  • 2018 - JCU Research Festival CPHMVS Best Poster Award (AUD $300)
  • 2017 - JCU Research Festival CPHMVS Best Student Poster Award (AUD $200)
  • 2016 to 2017 - JCU Large Partnership Grant with Mainstream Aquaculture (AUD $ 120,000)
  • 2015 to 2017 - Fresno Chaffe Zoo Wildlife Conservation Fund (US$ 2,064)
  • 2014 to 2017 - JPRS PhD Scholarship to F. Van den Berghe (~AUD $200,000)
  • 2013 to 2017 - AusAID Australian Development PhD Scholarship to S. Peña (AUD $255,083)
  • 2016 - JCU CPHMVS Learning & Teaching Award for Student Satisfaction (PP2201 Medical Physiology)
  • 2016 - JCU Research Infrastructure Block Grant (AUD $66,300)
  • 2015 to 2016 - JCU Development Grant (AUD$ 70,536)
  • 2014 - JCU Early Career Advisor of the Year Award (AUD $1,000)
  • 2014 - 2 JCU Research Infrastructure Block Grants (AUD $146,231)
  • 2013 to 2014 - SVBS Student Research Project Bursary to F. Stone (AUD $2,100)
  • 2013 - Sophie Danforth Conservation Biology Fund (US $1,000)
  • 2013 - JCU Research Infrastructure Block Grant (AUD $12,000)
  • 2012 - Society for Reproductive Biology ECR Conference Registration Award (AUD $200)
  • 2004 - University of Melbourne Dept. Zoology Research Committee Travel Grant (AUD $1,200)
  • 2003 - Australian Mammal Society Travel Award (AUD $175)
  • 2002 - Australian Mammal Society Bolliger Award (AUD $500)
  • 2002 - International Symposium on Assisted Reproductive Technology for the Conservation & Genetic Management of Wildlife Travel Award (US $1,000)
  • 2005 to 2007 - European Commission Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship (€170,500)
  • 2000 to 2003 - University of Melbourne Science Faculty Research Scholarship (AUD $50,000)
  • 2001 - University of Melbourne Abroad Travel Scholarship (AUD $1,000)
  • 2001 - University of Melbourne Alfred Nicholas Fellowship (AUD $1,910)
  • 2018 to 2019 - JCU CPHMVS Research Committee Member
  • 2018 to 2019 - Institute for Breeding Rare and Endangered African Mammals (IBREAM) Advisory Board Member
  • 2017 to 2019 - JCU Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science Member
  • 2017 to 2019 - JCU Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture Member
  • 2012 to 2019 - JCU Biomed Examination Committee Member
  • 2011 to 2019 - JCU Med 1 Foundation Studies Committee Member
  • 2002 to 2019 - IETS Companion Animal, Non-Domestic & Endangered Species Committee Member & Technology Subcommittee Co-chair
  • 2000 to 2018 - International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS)
  • 2011 to 2017 - JCU Biomedicine Research Working Group Member
  • 2010 to 2015 - IETS Domestic Animal Biomedical Embryology Committee Member
  • 2002 to 2015 - American Zoo & Aquaria (AZA) Reproduction Scientific Advisory Group Member
  • 2008 to 2012 - Dutch Society for Stem Cell Research (DSSCR)
  • 2003 to 2012 - Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB)
  • 2018 to 2019 - JCU Research Mentor (C. Joone & O. Hyakijkosol)
  • 2000 to 2019 - Scientific Referee: Reproduction, Reproduction Fertility & Development, Theriogenology, BMC Molecular Biology, IETS Annual Conference, Int. Symp. Assisted Reproductive Technology for the Conservation & Genetic Management of Wildlife
  • 2018 - Session Chair: Townsville Health Symposium’s My Research Rules Competition, 6th Sep 2018, Townsville, Australia.
  • 2018 - Conference Organizer & Poster Judge: JCU Research Festival, 29-30th Oct 2018, Townsville, Australia.
  • 2014 - Felicity Stone (JCU BBiomed Hons thesis): An in vitro heat stress model for the boar: The impact on sperm DNA and link to summer infertility in the pig.
  • 2010 - Rick Henneveld (U. Amsterdam BSc Hons thesis): Sperm transport in the grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica): The dynamics of sperm pairing and sperm storage crypts.
  • 2009 - Guest Editor & Symposium Organizer: "Implementation of Artificial Insemination in Companion Animals, Non-Domestic & Endangered Species" 7th Jan 2009, San Diego, USA - published in Theriogenology 71(1)
  • 2009 - Symposium Industry Sponsorship (US $14,000)
  • 2002 - Grant Reviewer: AZA Conservation Endowment Fund
  • 2002 - CGS Pty. Ltd. Conference Travel Sponsorship (AUD $550)

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 79+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Damien Paris from 1997 onwards.

Current Funding

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

QLD Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation - Advance Queensland PhD Scholarships

Development of advanced reproductive techniques to characterize infertility in Barramundi

Indicative Funding
$45,000 over 3 years
Since the 1980's, the $45 million barramundi aquaculture industry has stagnated due to a lack of development of advanced breeding technologies. With the recent development of genomic resources & putative methods to control sex, the industry is poised to undergo rapid expansion by implementing a genetic-based breeding program. Significant impediments to progress include dependence on often unsuccessful mixed spawning events, under-representation of genetically valuable individuals in offspring, & an inability to preserve valuable bloodlines - all due to a poor understanding of the factors that determine (in)fertility in this species. This project will develop advanced reproductive techniques to characterize infertility & accelerate selective breeding in barramundi, which will be implemented into the industry. This project has been granted by the JCU Partnership Grants to consolidate the collaboration between the university and our industry partner, Mainstream Aquaculture, endowed with the largest recirculating aquaculture system operating in mainland Australia. Barramundi farming hold a subsequent place in Queensland as it is place of more than half of the Australian barramundi farm production. The outcomes of this project will provide a new leverage for Queensland's industry and economy by directly impacting the production, increasing capability for aquaculture farms and bring innovation in rural regions. Page 2
Adrien Marc, Damien Paris, Dean Jerry and Jarrod Guppy (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and College of Science & Engineering)
Lates calcarifer calcarifer (Latidae); Aquaculture; Animal Production; Sperm quality quality; DNA Damage; Infertility

Tattykeel Research Pty Ltd - Research Grant

Genetics and nutrigenomics of intramuscular fat, fat melting point and meat eating quality in Australian White Lambs

Indicative Funding
$100,000 over 2 years
The over-arching aim of this research project is to enhance the sustainable production of Australian White (AW) sheep meat with superior eating qualities and healthier nutritional composition without compromising animal health, performance and welfare. Specific research objectives include: (1) Nutrigenomics analysis of intramuscular fat content, fat melting point, fatty acid composition and marbling gene expressions in grazing and supplemented sheep. (2) Sensory evaluation of meat eating quality of AW lamb in city restaurants (3) Next generation sequencing and creating of a genomic DNA bank of the AW lamb with a unique breed signature.
Aduli Malau-Aduli, Peter Chenoweth, Chris Gardiner, Donna Martin, Glen Walker, Damien Paris, Bunmi Malau-Aduli, Benjamin Holman, P Virtue and Peter Nichols (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Medicine & Dentistry, NSW Department of Primary Industries and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)
Australian White Lamb; Meat eating quality; Nutrigenomics; Intramuscular fat content and compositio; Fat melting point; Marbling gene expression

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.

  • Novel appeasing pheromones to minimise stress & aggression, & bolster reproductive & immune function in African wild dogs. (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

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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