Professor Dean Jerry is the Director of the ARC Research Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding,  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 18 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 has acquired over $22 million of external funding, the majority linked to industry projects, and published 125+ scientific articles in the area of aquaculture and genetics.

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)
  • MB1110: Introductory Marine Science (Level 1; 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 128+ 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.

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Projects

Pearls of wisdom - Breeding for increase tolerance to juvenile pearl oyster mortality syndrome

Indicative Funding
$897,023 over 4 years (administered by Ellies Pearls)
A decade ago pearl farming was one of the major employers and contributors to the social-economic fabric of northern Australia, contributing $189.7 million farm-gate to the national economy. However, in recent years Australian pearl production has been severely impacted by episodic and large-scale mortality events by an as yet unidentified causative factor. These mortality events, termed juvenile pearl oyster mortality syndrome (or JPOMS), have resulted in massive write-downs in production and economic value of the industry. This project will develop the genetic knowledge and lay the foundation for a selective breeding program in pearl oysters that are resistance to JPOMS.
Dean Jerry, Kyall Zenger, Jan Strugnell, Dave Jones, David Jackson and James H Brown (College of Science & Engineering, Ellies Pearls and Cygnet Bay Pearls)
Pinctada maxima; JPOMS; Selective Breeding

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Projects

Biosecurity in northern Australian prawn aquaculture

Indicative Funding
$441,818 over 3 years
This project addresses biosecurity risk through conducting the first comprehensive and widespread biosecurity audit of Australian prawn farms. This project has two components. The first is to conduct a biosecurity metanalysis using traditional and molecular diagnostic tools to establish what pathogens currently occur on prawn farms and how they relate to productivity. Secondly, once the pathobiome is established the project will formulate a risk management strategy for industry and provide on-farm biosecurity training. Understanding the risk of disease, and increased capacity to detect and monitor on-farm, will lead to more effective management practices for northern Australian prawn aquaculture.
Dean Jerry, Ellen Ariel, Kelly Condon and Roger Huerlimann (College of Science & Engineering, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Penaeus monodon (Penaidae); Disease; Prawn; Aquaculture

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Annual Competitive Round

Testing established methods of early prediction of genetic merit in abalone broodstock

Indicative Funding
$85,422 over 4 years
There is a need in the abalone industry to improve production animals. However, abalone are relatively slow growing animals and take several years to reach harvest size. This means that during the establishment of foundation broodstock populations it may be several years before the relative genetic merit of each of the broodstock can be determined and the first selection decisions made. Researchers at JCU have addressed this time-lag problem of obtaining accurate genetic estimated breeding values (gEBV) in other species. They have shown that broodstock gEBV can be estimated accurately from larvae as early as 18 days through the targeting of growth processes at the cellular level that predict genetic-determined long-term growth. This method is as yet untested in abalone, but if successful, has great potential in helping screen broodstock. This project will test the efficacy of this early prediction method in abalone. The impact of this early detection method would be to save costs by assisting in the selection of superior broodstock individuals which would produce faster growing offspring. Currently new broodstock animals are unevaluated with regard to their genetic merit.
Jan Strugnell, Dean Jerry, Jose Domingos and Catarina Silva (College of Science & Engineering)
Abalone; Genetics

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

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Innovations Connections

Developing the basis for wild caught prawn broodstock biosecurity protocols

Indicative Funding
$49,594 , in partnership with Australian Prawn Farms Pty Ltd ($49,594 over 2 yrs)
The project will monitor the presence and viral load of a number of endemic prawn viruses in farmed prawns collected at Australian Prawn Farm. The data collected will be used to prepare evidence based management protocols to improve productivity on the farm.
Dean Jerry and Kelly Condon (College of Science & Engineering)
qPCR; Penaeus monodon; Virus

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 and Dean Jerry in collaboration with 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

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 Research & Development Corporation - Rural Development for Profit

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

Indicative Funding
$472,775 over 4 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

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.

  • Potential of Tropical Filamentous Cyanobacteris for Low Cost Bioremediation and Bioproducts Synthesis. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Domestication in Aquaculture Fishes- Elucidating the Genetic Consequences in Nile tilapia (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Resolving the global occurrence and distribution of sawfishes using genetic techniques (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/AM)
  • 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)
  • Mitigating the effects of Acroporo-eoting flatworms on captive Acropora colonies (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Developing New Tools to Improve Fish Production and Understand the Causes of Infertility in Barramundi (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Parasite threats from the ornamental fish trade (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Development of Captive Breeding Techniques for the Striped Blenny Meiacanthus grammistes: A Popular Marine Ornamental Fish (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Physiological response to environmental stressors in the BlackTiger Prawn, P. Monodon (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • 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/AM)
  • 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/AM)
  • An Epigenetic Mechanism for Sex Change in the Protandrous Hermaphrodite, Lates Calcarifer. (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • Monitoring tropical freshwater biodiversity using environmental DNA (eDNA) (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • Population Genomics of Black Tiger Prawns Penaeus monodon to Understand Wild Fishery and Aquaculture Production (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • Selective breeding for tolerance to gill-associated virus in the black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • 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)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:

  • 32.009, Sir George Fisher Research Building (Townsville campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Advisor Mentor
Find me on…
Icon for ResearcherID page Icon for LinkedIn profile page Icon for Scopus Author page

Similar to me

  1. Dr Giana Gomes
    JCU Singapore
  2. Dr Kate Hutson
    College of Science & Engineering
  3. Prof Kyall Zenger
    College of Science & Engineering
  4. Dr Jose Domingos
    JCU Singapore
  5. Mrs Kelly Condon
    College of Science & Engineering