I am currently an Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching within the College of Science and Engineering.  I have fulfilled several roles at JCU as an Academic Adviser, Course Coordinator for the BSc, and Manager of Undergraduate teaching in the former College of Marine & Environmental Science.

Prior to commencing at JCU in 2005, I travelled throughout Queensland and Australia designing and teaching hands-on science experiences for primary and secondary students while working at CSIRO Education.  I am an active participant in the Scientist in Schools program and have been working extensively in local primary schools for the last 10 years to try to inspire young scientists, to increase “science literacy” within the general public and to promote the uptake of science subjects to students within the region.

I am a trained high school science teacher and am passionate about STEM education, curriculum development and promoting science within north Queensland and the wider community. 

My research is in an exciting new field of genetics which uses environmental DNA (eDNA) and metabarcoding to monitor tropical freshwater biodiversity.  I am particulary interested in using eDNA techniques to detect invasive fish, such as tilapia and rare and critically endangered species such as the Armoured Mistfrog.  The primary groups that I work on are fish, turtles, frogs and crustaceans but I am always looking to expand and collaborate!

You can check out a video of our eDNA work on the ABC Catalyst website.(www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4122587.htm)

  • AG1007: Introduction to Plants and Animals for Veterinary Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • BS1007: Introduction to Biodiversity (Level 1; TSV)
  • SC1101: Science, Technology and Truth (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • SC3003: Science Research Internship (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • environmental DNA invasive species metabarcoding approach for analyzing environmental samples STEM education
Research Disciplines
  • 2011 - JCU Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2009 - JCU Award for Excellence-Client Service
  • 1997 - Protect the Planet Scholar
  • 1997 - Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship ($29,000)

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
Other research outputs
Current Funding

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

CSIRO - On Accelerate

eDNA Field Pump (ON Accelerate4)

Indicative Funding
There is a pressing need for more information on the health and biodiversity status of our aquatic environments. To acquire this knowledge, monitoring of species and populations is essential to obtain reliable distribution patterns in space and time. However, sampling is expensive and poses many resourcing, safety and logistical challenges. We have developed an innovative method to extract DNA directly from a water sample without having to catch the target organism. This eDNA Pump makes field sampling affordable to researchers, managers and citizen-scientists alike with a more reliable and cost-e3ffecgtive approach for environmental monitoring of aquatic resources.
Heather Robson and Wendy Morris in collaboration with Anthony Tucker (College of Science & Engineering)
Environmental Dna; Environmental Monitoring; Invasive Species; metabarcoding; Endangered Species; Conservation

Fisheries NSW - Contract Research

eDNA Surveillance of Invasive Pest Fish - Tilapia

Indicative Funding
$34,300 over 2 years
This project will use eDNA technology developed by JCU to monitor new infestations of Tilapia in Southern Queensland and Northern NSW waterways.
Damien Burrows and Heather Robson in collaboration with Dean Jerry (TropWATER and College of Science & Engineering)
Invasive Species; eDNA; Tilapia; Environmental Monitoring

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.

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  • 28.014, Marine & Tropical Biology 2 (Townsville campus)
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