Dr Kate Hutson's research examines aquatic animal parasitology issues that threaten wild, farmed and ornamental fishes. Her research integrates parasite species discovery and biology (taxonomy, life cycles, ecology and behaviour) with practical, applied research (risk-assessment, disease diagnosis, management and treatment) designed to deliver tangible outcomes for fisheries, aquaculture industry and biosecurity management. This combination of pure and applied research has led to the development of unique and strong partnerships between industry, government agencies and other tertiary institutions.   

Kate graduated with a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in Marine Parasitology from the University of Adelaide. She led the Marine Parasitology Laboratory at James Cook University from 2010 to 2019 and completed three Honours, four Masters and four PhD students as primary advisor. Kate coordinated the undergraduate Aquaculture and Technology Major and in 2015 won a National Teaching Award for her contribution to undergraduate and postgraduate classes in aquaculture.

In 2019 Kate relocated to the Cawthron Institute, in Nelson, New Zealand where she works as a Senior Scientist in Aquatic Health. Kate has maintained a close working relationship with JCU as Adjunct Associate Professor and currently supervises three PhD students. 


  • AQ5806: Aquaculture: Introductory Principles and Practices (Level 5; TSV)
  • 2019 to present - Senior Scientist, Cawthron Institute (Nelson, New Zealand)
  • 2019 to present - Adjunct Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville, Queensland)
  • 2013 to 2019 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Queensland)
  • 2010 to 2012 - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Queensland)
  • 2007 to 2009 - Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Adelaide (Adelaide, South Australia)
  • 2002 to 2003 - Research Assistant, University of Technology Sydney (Gore Hill, New South Wales)
Research Disciplines
  • 2016 - People's choice award: Reperio - Innovation and Commercialisation Pitch
  • 2015 - National Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2015 - Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Australian Institute of Policy & Science and the Tall Poppy Campaign
  • 2015 - James Cook University Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2013 - My Research in 3 minutes, People’s Choice Award, James Cook University
  • 2013 - My Research in 3 minutes, Early Career Researcher Award, James Cook University
  • 2013 - High Commendation, Early Career Researcher Supervisor of the Year, James Cook University
  • 2009 - Early Career Researcher Award for the most meritorious scientific paper at the Australian Society for Parasitology and ARC/NHMRC Research Network for Parasitology Annual Conference, The University of Sydney, New South Wales

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 40+ research outputs authored by Dr Kate Hutson from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Ecological Society of Australia - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Use of DNA metabarcoding analysis to investigate parasite consumption of cleaner fish and shrimp

Indicative Funding
Determining what animals eat is a key component of understanding their ecology. When the organisms play a symbiotic cleaning role, gut contents can elucidate important community dynamics. This innovative study will be the first comprehensive research of the diet of small reef organisms that have very important role in a reef ecosystem. Using recently developed DNA metabarcoding analysis, this study focuses on two commensal cleaners important for reef dynamics: the bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, and the cleaner shrimp, Urocaridella antonbruunii.
Pauline Narvaez, Mark McCormick and Kate Hutson (College of Science & Engineering)
Cleaner fish; Diet; DNA metabarcoding; Cleaner shrimp; Stomach content; Parasites

Ridley Corporation Ltd - Contract Research

Efficacy of Ridley Aquafeed products against ectoparasitic Cryptocaryon irritans in barramundi Aquaculture

Indicative Funding
Cryptocaryon irritans is an economically important ectoparasitic of marine fishes. This parasite is an important ectoparasite of cultured barramundi (Lates calcarifer) in Queensland, where it is responsible for chronic mortalities and reduced overall growth performance in aquaculture. This project aims to test the efficacy of Ridley Aquafeed treatments against Cryptocaryon irritans infection success on barramundi.
Kate Hutson and David Vaughan (College of Science & Engineering)
Parasite; Aquaculture; Feed; Medicine; Treatment; Aquatic Animal Health

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Research & Development Funding - Research Grant

Aquatic animal health subprogram: Strategic approaches to identifying pathogens of quarantine concern associated with the importation of ornamental fish

Indicative Funding
$46,338 over 2 years (administered by University of Sydney)
Nearly 18 million ornamental fish are imported annually under a policy based on an Import Risk Assessment published in 1999. Despite quarantine, there have been several incidents of exotic pathogens from ornamental fish affecting wild and farmed fish populations. There is a need to acquire new knowledge to support policy reform as the ornamental fish industry advances and new pathogens emerge. The direct result of this project will be accurate and comprehensive information concerning the nationally and internationally significant pathogens carried by ornamental fish entering Australia.
John Becker, M Crane, N Dhand, Paul Hick, Kate Hutson, Terry Miller, Andrew Robinson, Fran Stephens, J Toribio and R Whittington (The University of Sydney, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, College of Science & Engineering, The University of Melbourne and Agriculture Western Australia)
Ornamental Fish; Biosecurity; Aquatic Animal Health; parasites; Quarantine; pathogens

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.

  • The impact of habitat condition on parasitism of herbivorous coral reef fishes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Developing Captive Breeding Techniques for two Marine Ornamental Crabs: The Harlequin Crab Lissocarcinus Laevis and the Decorator Crab Camposcia Retusa (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Cleaner fish as a vector of parasites and influence of habitat degradation on cleaning symbiosis (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Mitigating the effects of Acropora-eating flatworms on captive Acropora colonies (PhD , Primary 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:

Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
Find me on…
Icon for Google Scholar profile Icon for ORCID profile Icon for ResearchGate profile Icon for Twitter profile page Icon for external homepage

Similar to me

  1. Prof Dean Jerry
    College of Science & Engineering
  2. A/Prof Matthew Tan
    JCU Singapore
  3. Prof Kyall Zenger
    College of Science & Engineering
  4. Dr Terry Miller
    College of Science & Engineering
  5. A/Prof Constantin Constantinoiu
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences