Professor Dean Jerry is the Director of the ARC  Research Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding, Associate Dean of Research for the College of Science and Engineering 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)
  • AQ3004: Aquaculture: Stock Improvement (Level 3; TSV)
  • AQ3007: Aquatic Animal Ecophysiology (Level 3; TSV)
  • AQ3015: Sustainable Aquaculture (Level 3; TSV)
  • AQ5004: Aquaculture: Stock Improvement (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5007: Aquatic Animal Ecophysiology (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5009: Aquaculture of Tropical Species (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5015: Sustainable Aquaculture (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
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 122+ 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

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

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

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

Save Our Seas Foundation - Grant

SOSF Global Sawfish Search

Indicative Funding
This project will enhance global conservation efforts for sawfishes by using environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques to undertake a global survey of their current distribution. eDNA represents a cost effective, accurate and simple method for broad-scale surveys of rare and threatened species such as sawfishes. Field and laboratory techniques will be validated for all five sawfish species, a global sampling plan developed and implemented, and the results synthesized to produce revised current distributions of sawfish species.
Colin Simpfendorfer and Dean Jerry in collaboration with Madalyn Cooper, David Morgan, Peter Kyne and John Carlson (College of Science & Engineering, Murdoch University, Charles Darwin University and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Sawfish; Threatened Species; eDNA; Sawfish; marine conservation

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Rural Development for Profit

Growing a profitable, innovative, collaborative Yellowtail Kingfish industry: bringing 'white' fish to the market - RnD4Profit

Indicative Funding
$426,500 over 3 years (administered by Department of Primary Industries (NSW))
The K4P project is focused on growing the key existing Australian YTK industry participants, as well as the industry as a whole, and directly addresses FRDS's new strategic plan to build Australian sustainable aquaculture development through the activities of the "new and Emerging Aquaculture Opportunities' (NEAO) Subprogram. The K4P project also aligns with the National marine Science Plan to grow the blue economy, and the national Aquaculture Statement and Strategy to grow Australian aquaculture production and better coordinate fisheries and aquaculture R&D resources nationally.
Mark Booth, Wayne O'Connor, Dean Jerry, Donald Fielder and David Whyte in collaboration with Igor Pirozzi (NSW Fisheries and College of Science & Engineering)
Yellowtail Kingfish; Serola lalandi; Nutrition

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Projects

Advanced animal breeding in aquaculture: using genome-wide molecular breeding values for rapid animal improvement in the Silver-lipped pearl oyster

Indicative Funding
$541,032 over 4 years, in partnership with Atlas Pearls and Perfumes Ltd ($210,000 over 3 yrs)
The primary impediment to achieving rapid genetic progress in aquaculture is an inability to accurately and rapidly identify high-performance animals for selection as parents in animal breeding programs. This project aims to develop an innovative genomic selection breeding system for the silver-lipped pearl oyster to overcome current limitations associated with traditional animal improvement methods. The use of genomic selection will not only transform the Australian pearl oyster industry, but it will also showcase the potential of genomic selection in aquaculture globally. Furthermore, knowledge gained from this project can also be applied to a variety of other Australian aquaculture species to accelerate the uptake of this technology.
Kyall Zenger, Dean Jerry and Herman Raadsma in collaboration with Joseph Taylor (College of Science & Engineering, The University of Sydney and Atlas Pearls and Perfumes Ltd)
aquaculture; Animal Breeding; Quantitative Genetics

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Infrastructure (L-IEF)

High-throughput DNA sequencing facility at James Cook University

Indicative Funding
Many JCU projects underpinned by high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies require immediate direct local access for efficiency and quality assurance. Currently due to the tyranny of distance accessing high-throughput sequencing significantly increases turnaround time and can place valuable and unrecoverable samples to problems associated with reliable freighting and transport of material from infectious disease agents. Therefore it is essential that a high-throughput sequencing facility is established in northern Australia that can service the region and that allows rapid turnaround times, flexibility in services available including customisation, the ability to run pilot projects on small scales and alleviates biosecurity concerns.
David Miller, Dean Jerry, Alex Loukas and Cinzia Cantacessi (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and College of Science & Engineering)
Genotyping; metagenomics; Transcriptomics

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Projects

Deciphering the molecular and environmental determinants of sex-change in barramundi

Indicative Funding
$523,092 over 4 years, in partnership with Mainstream Aquaculture ($244,740 over 3 yrs)
Barramundi breeding programs to boost productivity and international competitiveness are hindered by a lack of reproductive control. Barramundi change sex from male to emale at 3-5 years of age, requiring hatcheries to maintain male broodstock for several years before they can be bred as females. This increases required infrastructure and decreases the rate of genetic improvement that can be achieved. This project will elucidate genetic mechanisms regulating barramundi sex change and will develop approaches allowing hatcheries to efficiently control broodstock sex. The ability to obtain reproductive control
Dean Jerry, Kyall Zenger and Andreas Lopata in collaboration with Paul Harrison (College of Science & Engineering, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Mainstream Aquaculture Pty Ltd)
Aquaculture; sex development; Barramundi

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.

  • Strategic Approaches to Identifying Pathogens of Quarantine Concern Associated with the Importation of Ornamental Fish. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Genomic Selection Model Testing and Breeding Design Evaluation for the Silver Lipped Pearl Oyster (Pincata maxima) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Domestication in Aquaculture Fishes- Elucidating the Genetic Consequences in Nile tilapia (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Development of Captive Breeding Techniques for the Striped Blenny Meiacanthus grammistes: A Popular Marine Ornamental Fish (Masters , Secondary 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)
  • 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)
  • Physiological response to environmental stressors in the BlackTiger Prawn, P. Monodon (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Cleaner organisms clean up in culture: a solution for sustainable parasite management (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)
  • Resolving the global occurrence and distribution of sawfishes using genetic techniques (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Mitigating the effects of Acroporo-eoting flatworms on captive Acropora colonies (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Developing New Tools to Improve Fish Production and Understand the Causes of Infertility in Barramundi (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Potential of Tropical Filamentous Cyanobacteris for Low Cost Bioremediation and Bioproducts Synthesis. (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)

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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