Professor Dean Jerry is the Director of the ARC Research Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding, Acting Dean of Research for the JCU Singapore campus and the Deputy Director JCU Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture.

His primary area of research focus and expertise is in the application of genetic technologies to the improvement of farmed aquatic organisms.  He has worked with aquaculture species for 17 years and  over this time has built a large internationally recognised research team in aquaculture genetics which has been instrumental in the development of genetic tools and knowledge to inform selective breeding programs for numerous tropical aquatic farmed species.

He also currently advises and assists with selective breeding programs for pearl oysters, marine shrimp, barramundi and redclaw crayfish.

As a strong advocate for the role aquaculture will play in securing humanity's future protein needs, Prof Jerry is always interested in hearing from people and companies who are seeking to conduct R&D leading to improved efficiencies in aquaculture production.

Prof Jerry is also pioneering the application of environmental DNA technologies to the detection of rare and invasive aquatic organims in Australia, and in detection of aquaculture pathogens.


  • AQ2002: Aquaculture of Tropical Species (Level 2; TSV)
  • AQ3007: Aquatic Animal Ecophysiology (Level 3; TSV)
  • AQ5007: Aquatic Animal Ecophysiology (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5009: Aquaculture of Tropical Species (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5016: Aquaculture in Practice (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5806: Aquaculture: Introductory Principles and Practices (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5809: Aquaculture in the Tropics (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5815: Sustainable Aquaculture Principles and Practices (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5816: Current Trends in Aquaculture (Level 5; TSV)
  • BZ2420: Ecological Genetics (Level 2; TSV)
  • BZ5420: Ecological Genetics (Level 5; TSV)
  • MB1110: Introductory Marine Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • MB5450: Molecular Approaches to Marine Ecology and Evolution (Level 5; TSV)
  • aquaculture, aquaculture genetics, genetic improvement of aquaculture animals, barramundi, Lates calcarifer, Pearl oyster, genomics, conservation genetics of fish, eDNA
Research Disciplines
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
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 123+ research outputs authored by Prof Dean Jerry from 2001 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) - Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub

The Northern Australia eDNA Program - Revolutionising Aquatic Monitoring and Field Surveys in Tropical Waters

Indicative Funding
$570,000 over 3 years
All organisms shed DNA into their environment. This is termed environment DNA (eDNA). Capture and analysis of eDNA (in soil or water samples) is a highly efficient and sensitive method to detect the presence of a wide range of species without actually requiring physical capture, or sighting of the organisms themselves. eDNA field sampling can involve as little as collecting water samples and
Damien Burrows, Jan Strugnell, Roger Huerlimann, Richard C Edmunds and Dean Jerry (TropWATER and College of Science & Engineering)
eDNA; Threatened Species; Northern Australia; exotic pest species; aquatic monitoring; Genetics

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program

Rapid iteration selective breeding: Australia's fish to feed the world

Indicative Funding
$1,090,000 over 3 years (administered by Mainstream Aquaculture Pty Ltd)
Barramundi - Australia?s favourite fish ? is gaining popularity worldwide as a farmed solution for supply of white fish. The world needs a sustainable source of white fish, as current supply comes from declining wild catch fisheries. Industrial scale farming offers a solution. Success relies on improved seed stock and the Australian Barramundi industry in conjunction with the CRC-P program is tackling this challenge by applying advanced modern genetics to Australia?s barramundi breeding stocks.
Paul Harrison, Dean Jerry, Kyall Zenger, Jan Strugnell and Nick Robinson (Mainstream Aquaculture Pty Ltd, College of Science & Engineering and The University of Melbourne)
Barramundi; Lates calcarifer; Aquaculture; Selective Breeding; Genetics

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

Ecological Society of Australia - Student Research Awards

Is temperature an ecological driver of sex change in hermaphroditic fish?

Indicative Funding
Using barramundi as an experimental model, we will test the hypothesis that temperature is an ecological driver of sex change in fish, acting via changes in DNA methylation of conserved sex-determining genes and ultimately resulting in differences in the size and age at which populations change sex. The findings will significantly advance current understanding of temperature as an ecological driver sex change and facilitate predictions of the effect of climate change on key population demographics; sex ratio and effective population size. Specifically, the results will inform management strategies for barramundi fisheries and assist in the preservation of associated aquatic ecosystems.
Alyssa Budd, Dean Jerry, Olivia Whybird and Julie Robins (College of Science & Engineering, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Forestry)
Fisheries; DNA Methylation; Sex Change; Environmental Epigenetics; Temperature; Barramundi (Latidae)

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Innovations Connections

Application of new prawn viral strain and prevalence data to determine viral infection risk

Indicative Funding
$49,964 , in partnership with Seafarm Pty Ltd ($49,965)
The project will monitor the presence and viral load of a number of endemic prawn viruses in farmed prawns collected at Seafarm. The data collected will be used to prepare evidence based management protocols to improve biosecurity management on the farm.
Dean Jerry and Kelly Condon (College of Science & Engineering)
Qpcr; Biosecurity; Penaeus monodon Penaeidae; Virus; Penaeus merguiensis Penaidae; Aquaculture; Black Tiger Prawn; Banana Prawn

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Annual Competitive Round

Assessing the nutritional quality in Australian barramundi

Indicative Funding
To assess the variability in nutrient composition, specifically omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) and minerals, in the fillet of farmed Australian barramundi (Lates calcarifer). This information will be used by the barramundi industry to market the health benefits of its farmed product.
Waldo Nuez-Ortin and Dean Jerry in collaboration with Justin Forrester and Jo-Anne Ruscoe (College of Science & Engineering, Coral Coast Barramundi and Australian Barramundi Farmers Association)
barramundi (Lates calcarifer); Omega 3; Aquaculture

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Industrial Transformation Research Hubs

ARC Research Hub for advanced breeding to transform prawn aquaculture

Indicative Funding
$4,979,922 over 6 years
Project Seadragon will establish the world's largest black tiger prawn farm, significantly boosting the Australian aquaculture sector. To operate with maximum efficiency and maintain international competitiveness, Project Seadragon will require transformative technologies in advanced animal breeding to produce high-yielding, genetically improved, farm strains. The ARC ITRH will coalesce world-leading animal geneticists, research and service providers, and Australia's largest prawn farm, and gather the genomic resources, commercial phenotypic data, and apply cutting-edge genetic and genomic selection methodologies, leading to the most advanced and industry transformative improvement program for any aquaculture species globally.
Dean Jerry, Kyall Zenger, Herman Raadsma and Peter Thomson in collaboration with Jeff Cowley, Greg Coman, Melony Sellars, Wade Nicholas, Kirby Siemering, Matthew Tinning and Dallas Donovan (College of Science & Engineering, The University of Sydney, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Australian Genome Research Facility and Western Australian Resources Limited)
Aquaculture; Prawns; Selective Breeding

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Annual Competitive Round

Real time monitoring of water quality and lmechanisation of pond management to boost productivity and increase profit

Indicative Funding
the cost of electricity to driver pond aerators is one of the lmajor costs of barramundi production. This project looks at the use of oxygen sensors linked to controllers that switch on and off paddlewheels once oxygen levels reach 80o% saturation. The effects of the controllers on cost of electrifcity use, and the pond ecosystem including nutrient levels, algae compositon and metals will be assessed. The project will deliver an understanding if electricity costs can be reduced using controllers without reducing production or adversely affecting the pond environment.
Dean Jerry, Waldo Nuez-Ortin, Sam Penglase and Clement Pissoat (College of Science & Engineering)
Barramundi (Lates calcarifer); Aquaculture; production efficiency

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Sponsorship

FRDC Sponsorship International Symposium for Genetics in Aquaculture XIII

Indicative Funding
FRDC has provided sponsorship to ISGA to support travel costs for an internationally renowned plenary speaker in the application of biotechnology and synthetic biological solutions to future aquaculture production (ie CRISPR/TALEN gene editing. RNAi etc) to provide bursaries for participants from Australian industry/researchers to attend the conference and to cover costs associated with an industry tour to showcase to delegates examples of Australian tropical aquaculture.
Dean Jerry (College of Science & Engineering)

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Research Grant

The validation of molecular diagnostic assays of marine pests of high priority to Australia

Indicative Funding
$45,000 (administered by Department of Fisheries (WA))
Detection of marine pests using traditional methods is notoriously difficult, lacks accuracy and is costly. Molecular methods for detection of marine pests using environmental DNA offers promise of relatively inexpensive, efficient and sensitive sampling to detect the possible presence of marine pests. However, many of these tests have not been validated to give a level of sensitivity and specificity to inform determination of whether an exotic marine species is present. The validation of molecular techniques for marine pests will determine fitness for purpose and performance for that purpose which can then be factored into design of surveillance.
Roger Huerlimann and Dean Jerry (College of Science & Engineering)
Marine Pests; eDNA; Early detection; Northern Australia

Fisheries Society of the British Isles - Research Grant Fund

Is temperature driving early male to female sex change in barramundi (Lates calcarifer)?

Indicative Funding
This research aims to establish the role of termperature as a driver of early male to femal sex change in barramundi, through changes in epigentic markers. Using 95 barramundi from two populations experiencing differing water temperatures and exhibiting alternative size distributions at sex change, it will be the first to compare epigenetic markers for sex change in wild fish. Comparing this data to experimentally termperature-treated barramundi will enable validation of findings on how temperature drives fundamental population demographics for this and other sex changing fisheries species.
Alyssa Budd and Dean Jerry (College of Science & Engineering)
Fisheries; environmental epigenetics; DNA Methylation; temperature; Sex Change; barramundi (Latidae)

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Innovations Connections

Viral load in APF prawn stocks

Indicative Funding
$40,000 over 2 years, in partnership with Australian Prawn Farms Pty Ltd ($40,000 over 2 yrs)
This project will test viral load in new broodstock brought into Aussie Prawn Farms so they can identify broodstock to not spawn from and to know what viruses are coming on farm.
Dean Jerry and Kelly Condon (College of Science & Engineering)
Shrimp; Penaeus monodon; Genetics; viruses

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

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.

  • Development of Captive Breeding Techniques for two Marine Ornamental Fish: Rainfordi's Goby Koumansetta Rainfordi, and the Coral Sea Fairy Wrasse Cirrhilabrus Bathyphilus (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Resolving the global occurrence and distribution of sawfishes using genetic techniques (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Development of Captive Breeding Techniques for the Striped Blenny Meiacanthus grammistes: A Popular Marine Ornamental Fish (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Intestinal and Environmental Bacterial Community Analyses in Wild and Farmed Black Tiger Prawn Penaeus Monodon as a Tool for Prawn Health Biomonitoring (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Physiological response to environmental stressors in the BlackTiger Prawn, P. Monodon (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Population Genomics of Black Tiger Prawns Penaeus monodon to Understand Wild Fishery and Aquaculture Production (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Gene Regulation and Morphological Analysis for Sex Differentation Gonadal Maturation and Sex Reversal of Barramundi (Lates calcarifer Bloch) With and Without Administration of Exogenous hormone and Aromatase Inhibitor. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Monitoring tropical freshwater biodiversity using environmental DNA (eDNA) (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Uncovering the potential of the Australian black tiger prawn for a large scale aquaculture selective breeding program (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • An Epigenetic Mechanism for Sex Change in the Protandrous Hermaphrodite, Lates Calcarifer. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Mitigating the effects of Acroporo-eoting flatworms on captive Acropora colonies (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Development of Dense Genomic Resources for the Black Tiger Prawn to Unravel the Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits in the Black Tiger Prawn (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Domestication in Aquaculture Fishes- Elucidating the Genetic Consequences in Nile tilapia (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Potential of Tropical Filamentous Cyanobacteris for Low Cost Bioremediation and Bioproducts Synthesis. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Strategic Approaches to Identifying Pathogens of Quarantine Concern Associated with the Importation of Ornamental Fish. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Cleaner organisms clean up in culture: a solution for sustainable parasite management (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Developing New Tools to Improve Fish Production and Understand the Causes of Infertility in Barramundi (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Physiological Plasticity of Yellowtail Kingfish (Seriola Lalandi) in Response to Varying Nutrition: Improving YTK Aquaculture Through Better Feed Formulation (PhD , Secondary 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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