Professor Ian Atkinson is a Tropical Leader and Director of the eResearch Centre at James Cook University. His PhD studies were in chemical physics but nearly 20 years ago moved from experimental science into computational chemistry and high-performance computing.

Over the past decade the rapid expansion of the Internet, mass data storage and computing has impacted every area of research and academic activity. As Director of the JCU eResearch Centre he has the privilege of working with researchers to apply new and ever changing ICT tools and methods to their research and amplifying their impacts.

He has a long-standing interest in eResearch methods, tools, scientific data management and user interfaces for HPC tools. He is also actively involved in researching how new systems and software that connect the physical and virtual worlds, particularly focusing on environmental monitoring with sensor networks.

  • Sensor Networks and IoT
  • Big Data Analytics
  • eResearch
  • Precision Agriculture
  • 2016 - JCU Senior Staff 'Dugong Award'
  • 2008 - University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellors Award for Knowledge Transfer with Professor Marimuthu Palaniswami, for Monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef using Distributed Sensor Networks.
  • 2001 - RACI Ollé Prize for best treatise, writing or paper: Self-Assembly in Supramolecular Systems, Book, with Prof. L.F. Lindoy

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 79+ research outputs authored by Prof Ian Atkinson from 1988 onwards.

Current Funding

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

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Projects

Applying new technologies to enhance biosecurity and cattle quality

Indicative Funding
$1,084,500 over 3 years (administered by Branir Pty Ltd & Trustee for Booloomani Unit Trust)
The vast natural environment of Northern Australia feeds the cattle industry; however, biosecurity threats have negatively impacted this. Conventional management of such threats such as weeds are not suited to such broad, harsh landscapes. The project will use an Internet of Things network with low-cost environmental sensors, drone mapping and big data analytics to develop and test data-driven, strategic pest management programs - ultimately improving both cattle industry and natural assets.
Ian Atkinson, Wei Xiang, Ron White, Stephanie Duce, Mohan Jacob and Karen Joyce (Research Infrastructure and College of Science & Engineering)
Biosecurity; Cattle; Drones; Weeds; Technology; Internet Of Things

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

Smart Ear Tag for Livestock

Indicative Funding
$1,500,000 over 4 years
CeresTag is investing in the development of a smart ear tag for livestock to enable near real-time geo-location and health monitoring. The developed ear tag will be compliant with the current NLIS identification system and cost only marginally more than existing tags. This technology will revolutionise the industry through enhanced animal welfare, improved land management practices and increased profitability. It will form the starting point of block chain traceability that will underpin the continued success of this important component of the Australian economy and help maintain the premium status of Australian livestock products.
Ian Atkinson, Wei Xiang, Bronson Philippa, Ed Charmley, Greg Bishop-Hurley, Nigel Bajema, Scott Mills, Gordon Foyster and Richard Keaney (Research Infrastructure, College of Science & Engineering, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation and Taggle Systems)
Animal tracking; Internet Of Things; Microelectronics; Geo-location; Precision Agriculture; Beef Cattle

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Control Tools and Technologies for Established Pest Animals and Weeds Programme

Enhanced landscape scale management of feral pigs and buffalo in large remote landscapes with new technologies enabling real-time data, modelling and analytics

Indicative Funding
$372,750 over 3 years (administered by CSIRO)
In remote Northern Australia properties are vast with limited seasonal access. In these large connected landscapes feral pigs and buffalo are controlled on an annual basis with limited success despite significant investment in time and money. Here we propose to develop an Internet of Things low power network connected with advanced low cost tracking devices and big data analytical techniques to develop a real time pest species tracking system including environmental sensors. Using these data, scientists and land managers will work together to develop end user products that will be used to inform strategic integrated pest management programs.
Justin Perry, Adam McKowen, Eric Vanderduys, Philip Valencia, Peter Durr and Ian Atkinson in collaboration with Nigel Bajema, Ricky Archer, Sandy Whyte and Tim Jaffer (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Research Infrastructure, Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation, APN Cape York and Kalan Enterprises)
Feral Pigs; Buffaloes; Northern Australia; Cape York; animal tracking; GPS

CSIRO - Contract Research

Climate Extremes Data Scientist

Indicative Funding
$187,500 over 4 years
As climate variability increases, researchers are being asked about the role of extreme weather events in shaping the appearance of natural ecosystems, potential for species extinction and loss of biodiversity, the viability of agricultural production systems, and whether particular system thresholds have been or will soon be breached. Such information is essential for adaptation policy, planning and management as it provides insights into the direction and rate of likely change as well as the management challenges that might be faced. This project will address these "big data" issues.
Jeremy Vanderwal, Ian Atkinson and Helen Murphy (College of Science & Engineering, Research Infrastructure and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)
Data Science; Big Data; Climate Change; Extreme Events

Australian Government Department of Education and Training - National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)

Connected urban tropics project

Indicative Funding
$160,000 over 2 years
City wide data can be utilised to better understand what is happening in the region and to better manage scarce resources. For example, city-wide data, such as energy and water, are generated by numerous parties and could provide patterns of utilisation to the Cairns and Townsville City Councils to manage local uses in city planning. Connecting and integrating distributed data from research, public and private sector agencies would empower better investment decisions for sustainable development in urban centres.
Ian Atkinson in collaboration with Jeremy VanDerWal and Eduardo de la Fuente (Research Infrastructure, College of Arts and Society & Education)
Tropical Data Hub; city-wide data; smart city; Sustainable Development; urban centres

Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation - Contract Research

Marine Science Data Services

Indicative Funding
$279,112 over 3 years
The objectives of the RDS project are to mature sustainable data services that deliver research outcomes and impact by: Refocusing of RDSI Infrastructure into Data as a Service in support of research communities with petascale data challenges. Secondly consolidating the linkages and alignments, where appropriate, with other Commonwealth-funded (NCRIS and Super Science) e-infrastructure investments.
Ian Atkinson (Research Infrastructure)
Marine Sciences; Data management

Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation - Contract Research

Terrestrial Systems Research Data Services

Indicative Funding
$242,407 over 3 years
The objectives of the RDS project are to mature sustainable data services that deliver research outcomes and impact by: Refocusing of RDSI infrastructure into Data as a Service in support of research communities with petascale data challenges. Secondly, consolidating the linkages and alignments, where appropriate, with other Commonwealth-funded (NCRIS and Super Science) e-infrastructure investments.
Ian Atkinson (Research Infrastructure)
Terrestrial Systems; Data Services

Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games - Accelerate Partnerships

SENSOR-Q: Sensor data solutions

Indicative Funding
$499,729 over 2 years
The SENSOR-Q project brings together world leading technology from industry and academia - data management and analytics expertise from CoastalCOMS (CCOMS), telemetry solutions from Taggle Systems and sensor expertise from James Cook University (JCU), in order to develop a unique end-to-end water monitoring, analysis and management solution for Townsville City Council (TCC). The SENSOR-Q project combines a multi disciplinary collaborative team that aims to create an integrated data collection, storage, analysis and visualisation platform that can be implemented across a variety of applications and industry sectors, and so enable Queensland to more effectively participate in the big data economy.
Ian Atkinson, Mohan Jacob, Scott Mills, Nigel Sim and Thomas Dejovich in collaboration with C Manning (Research Infrastructure, College of Science & Engineering, ScienceMob Inc., CoastalCOMS Pty Ltd, Taggle Systems and Townsville City Council)
Sensor Network; Water Quality; Cloud Computing; Terpene; Database Services; Polymer Thin Films

Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation - Contract Research

Queensland Additional Node of the Commonwealth Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) Project Providing Critical Infrastructure for Very Large Scale Research Data to Queensland Research

Indicative Funding
$257,293 over 5 years
QCIF will establish and operate an additional node at JCU for the national RDSI research infrastructure data storage program. This node will store massive volumes of medical, environmental and other research data produced by modern instruments, sensors and tools. Immediate priorities are tropical research into eradicating mosquito-borne diseases including malaria environmental monitoring and species distribution data and climate change impact modelling.
Ian Atkinson (Research Infrastructure)
Research Data Management; Tropical Data Management

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.

  • Use of Technology to Enhance Rehabilitation Services for Stroke Survivors in Rural and Remote Areas (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • A Wearable Internet of Things (IoT) System for the Real-Time Monitoring of Critical Health and the Provision of Emergency Healthcare (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Smart Sensors, Low Cost Radio Network System and the Internet of Things to Improve Effluent Quality from Algal Waste Treatment Systems and Aquaculture (Masters , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • Data driven decision making in City Planning - Multi method simulation modeling for sustainable cities (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Investigation of Disabled Australian's Interaction with Online Security: A Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Step Towards First Class Digital Citizen (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Investigating the gap Between University and Industry for Information Technology Graduates in Regional and Metropolitan Australia, and Evaluating what could be done by both Universities and Industry to Bridge this Gap (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • A Flexible Wired Sensor Network System for Vineyard Microclimate Monitoring (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • Harnessing Innovation and Digital Disruption for Better Healthcare Outcomes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Smart Streetlights: A Feasibility Study (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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  • 17.156, Faculty of Science & Engineering (Townsville campus)
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