I grew up in western Victoria and it was there that I developed an interest in agriculture and veterinary science. I graduated in veterinary science from the University of Melbourne in 1986 and then worked in rural, predominantly beef and dairy cattle practices as a veterinarian before completing a PhD in synchronising oestrus in Bos indicus cattle at James Cook University in 1998. I then completed a residency program in animal reproduction (theriogenology) at North Carolina State University between 1996 and 1998, and while there successfully completed American Board Certification in Theriogenology. On returning to Australia I worked as a research fellow at the University of Melbourne between 1999 and 2001 where the research focused on developing controlled breeding programs for large dairy herds. On completion of the fellowship I was registered as a veterinary specialist in veterinary reproduction and worked in private practice as a company director for a bovine reproduction consultancy service before commencing as a senior lecturer in veterinary reproduction at James Cook University (JCU) in December 2005. Since then I have contributed to the development of the veterinary science degree program at JCU, obtained a Masters of Education and my teaching has focused mainly on the area of veterinary reproduction. In 2024 I became the Academic Head of Veterinary Sciences at JCU and am privileged to lead a group of passionate educators and researchers and a great bunch of fun and wonderful students who aspire to be great veterinarians.

  • ML5309: Advanced Histology and Cytology Techniques (Level 5; TSV)
  • TV1101: Introduction to Veterinary Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • TV1103: Fundamentals of Veterinary Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • TV2001: Integrated Animal Structure and Function 1 (Level 2; TSV)
  • TV3001: Transitions from Health to Disease 1 (Level 3; TSV)
  • TV3002: Transitions from Health to Disease 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • TV4001: Veterinary Clinical Sciences Part 1 of 2 (Level 4; TSV)
  • TV4002: Veterinary Clinical Sciences Part 2 of 2 (Level 4; TSV)
  • Synchronisation of oestrus in cattle
  • Sterilisation of cattle
  • Veterinary education
  • Veterinary reproduction
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
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 45+ research outputs authored by A/Prof John Cavalieri from 2002 onwards.

Current Funding

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

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Scholarship

Intensification of the redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) industry: the importance of sperm quality and male fertility to productivity.

Indicative Funding
$60,000 over 3 years
Expansion of the redclaw aquaculture industry is limited by suboptimal methods to produce fertilized eggs and craylings for pond production. Improvement of reproductive efficiency is dependent on several factors as well as understanding the underlying causes of subfertility. This project seeks to develop advanced reproductive technologies to characterise sperm quality; establish optimal diets; and develop artificial fertilization and sperm cryopreservation techniques for superior male broodstock to accelerate selective breeding.
Jon Irish Aquino, John Cavalieri, Leo Nankervis and Estelle Venter in collaboration with Chaoshu Zeng and Lisa Elliot (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Science & Engineering and Australian Crayfish Hatchery)
Cherax quadricarinatus; Sperm quality; Redclaw crayfish aquaculture; Sperm freezing; Broodstock nutrition; Artificial fertilization

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Scholarship

Intensive Breeding Potential of Redclaw Crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus: Evaluation and Improvements of Egg and Embryo Quality, and In Vitro Fertilization Perspectives

Indicative Funding
$30,000 over 2 years
The commercial expansion of redclaw is hampered by suboptimal methods used to produce fertilised eggs, asynchronous hatching, and mortalities of juveniles. This project seeks to characterise female broodstock fertility and improve hatchery productivity by developing tools to assess egg and embryo quality, induce gonadal maturation and egg release using dietary supplementation and hormonal treatments and by establishing artificial fertilization techniques. The study outcomes include validation of tools to select for egg quality and to develop strategies to facilitate synchronised spawning of redclaw within hatcheries to enhance reproductive performance and facilitate intensification of production.
Nur Un Nesa and John Cavalieri (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Redclaw Crayfish; Hormone; Gonadal maturation; Spawning/Egg release; Artificial fertilisation

Australian Society for Fish Biology - Grant

Induction of gonadal maturation and egg release using hormones in redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) to facilitate intensive breeding for commercial juvenile production

Indicative Funding
$2,000 over 2 years
The commercial expansion of redclaw is hampered by suboptimal methods used to produce fertilised eggs, asynchronous hatching, and mortalities of juveniles that suggest broodstock fertility and nutrition need improvement. The proposed project will investigate induction of gonadal maturation and spawning using hormones in female redclaw. The outcomes of the study are validation and development of strategies to facilitate synchronised mating and spawning of redclaw within hatcheries in preventing suboptimal reproductive performance of redclaw in hatcheries. The established knowledge will help in understanding the hormone induced endocrine control of decapods and facilitate the development of artificial reproduction in intensively managed hatcheries.
Nur Un Nesa and John Cavalieri in collaboration with Lisa Elliot (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Australian Crayfish Hatchery)
Redclaw crayfish; Cherax quadricarinatus; Spawning/Egg release; Hormone; Artificial fertilisation; Gonadal maturation

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.

  • Enhancing reproduction in female redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) for commercial juvenile production (PhD , Primary Advisor)

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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