Kelly Condon (Phd, BSc hons) specialises in the discipline of Aquatic Animal Health and has over 25 years experience focussed on viral and bacterial diseases of tropical aquaculture species. Dr Condon has a keen interest in approaches to prevent and treat disease outbreaks in aquaculture species and conducts research ranging from detection, quantification & tracking of pathogens in aquaculture systems to therapies to prevent disease outbreaks such as vaccine development and the assessment of novel bioactives.

Kelly is a strong advocate for the development of tropical aquaculture in Northern Australia and conducts teaching and research activities to help support the aquaculture sector to deliver benefit to tropical regions/communities and economies.

Current research activities with the Aquaculture Sector:

  • Kelly is Deputy Director of theARC Research Hub Supercharging Tropical Aquaculture through Genetics. Kelly’s specific work package in this project is focussed on Aquatic animal health and preventing the impact of pathogens on production. The project will involve 5 years of research commencing 2021.
  • Kelly is also the CI on the project collaboration between the CRCNA, FRDC, APFA and JCUaimed at determining the impact of prawn viruses on production. The project will involve 3 years of research commencing 2021.
  • Kelly’s twenty years’ experience in the detection of pathogens of aquatic species, underpin her position as the Director of the JCU AquaPATH laboratory. JCU AquaPATH is a NATA accredited facility that specialises in the molecular detection of pathogens of aquaculture species particularly prawns, barramundi, and grouper. The laboratory provides rapid turnaround high throughput detection of a broad range of prawn viruses, bacterial toxin genes and support for fish disease diagnostics. The laboratory is actively involved in the preparation of biosecurity plans and troubleshooting health issues for the aquaculture industry. 
  • Kelly completed her PhD studies in "The management of Betanodavirus infections in tropical grouper". Kelly has a particular interest in Nervous Necrosis Virus in Australia and is currently assessing an experimental vaccine to prevent severe disease outbreaks caused by NNV.

Teaching Activities

  • With an Aquatic Animal Health speciality Kelly teaches and co-ordinates the JCU subjects of Introduction to Aquaculture and Sustainable Aquaculture.
  • Kelly is also the undergraduate BSc (Aquaculture) Major co-ordinator.


Kelly is interested in collaborative research to address aquaculture biosecurity and keen to support undergraduate and post-graduate research students to develop skills in aquatic animal health. 

  • AQ2001: Introduction to Aquaculture (Level 2; TSV)
  • AQ3015: Sustainable Aquaculture (Level 3; TSV)
  • AQ5006: Aquaculture: Principles and Practices (Level 5; TSV)
  • AQ5015: Sustainable Aquaculture (Level 5; TSV)
  • MI2031: Diagnosis of Bacterial Diseases in Aquaculture (Level 2; TSV)
  • MI5003: Diagnosis of Bacterial Diseases in Aquaculture (Level 5; TSV)
  • Aquatic Animal Health, Prawn disease, prawn health, prawn immunity, microbiome, bacterial toxin, Vibrio, Betanodavirus, vaccine development, testing efficacy of novel treatments to prevent disease and improve health.
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2018 - Australian Prawn Farmers Association Industry Innovation and Development Contribution.

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 13+ research outputs authored by Dr Kelly Condon from 2015 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research - Fisheries Program

Addressing key technical bottlenecks in the grouper supply chain in Vietnam and Australia through manufactured feed and hatchery developments that aim to improve sector profitability

Indicative Funding
$2,500,000 over 3 years
The project aims to address key bottlenecks in the aquaculture grouper supply chain in Vietnam and Australia through research into nutritional constraints and drivers for commercial feed adoption by the Vietnam grow-out farming sector, as well as factors affecting the supply of high-quality eggs, larvae and juveniles in both Vietnam and Australia. A physiological approach to nutrient requirements and feeds development will be applied to address nutrient-related production bottlenecks for grouper aquaculture. This project will develop commercially implemented feed formulated specifically for grouper, facilitating the further development of the industry in Vietnam and Australia.
Leo Nankervis, Kyall Zenger and Kelly Condon (College of Science & Engineering)
Grouper (Epinephelus spp); Nutrition; Hatchery; Vietnam; ACIAR

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Industrial Transformation Research Hubs

ARC Research Hub for Supercharging Tropical Aquaculture Through Genetic Solutions

Indicative Funding
$4,996,503 over 4 years, in partnership with Australian Genome Research Facility ($150,000); Cygnet Bay Pearls PL ($500,000); Mainstream Aquaculture ($500,000); Sea Forest Pty Ltd ($500,000) and THE COMPANY ONE PTY LTD ($500,000)
This project aims to integrate cutting edge genetic and genomic approaches into innovative aquaculture enterprises that farm in tropical northern Australia. It will deliver the requisite genetic knowledge to instigate world-leading and highly productive breeding programs for five species (barramundi, pearl oyster, prawn, grouper and marine seaweed), along with a novel understanding of the genetic basis of disease resistance and how the production environment interfaces with the bacterial microbiome, pathogens and water quality to cause disease. It will increase Australia's capacity to deliver advanced genetics outcomes to the aquaculture sector, while increasing productivity, international competitiveness, and lowered risk due to disease.
Dean Jerry, Kyall Zenger, Benjamin Hayes, Rocky de Nys, David Bourne, Andreas Lopata, Ron White, Jan Strugnell, Chaoshu Zeng, Kelly Condon, Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi, Ira Cooke, Leo Nankervis and Carla Ewels (College of Science & Engineering, The University of Queensland, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Selective Breeding; Genomics; Aquaculture

CRC for Developing Northern Australia - Grant

Determining the impact of prawn viruses on production of P.monodon

Indicative Funding
$504,750 over 3 years (administered by CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme)
The project is assessing the impact of 3 specific prawn viruses on the survival, growth, FCR and immune status of farmed P.monodon under experimental disease transmission conditions. The research aims to produce purified viral extracts of IHHNV, GAV and Whenzhou Shrimp Virus-2. The impact of the viruses on prawn growth and health will be determined under varying routes of exposure and with differing environmental conditions using the purified viral extracts.
Kelly Condon and Dean Jerry (College of Science & Engineering)
Penaeus monodon; transcriptome; immunity; Virus; Disease transmission

Australian Government - Innovation Connections

Establishing AAH capability within Ornatas Panulirus ornatas production

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year, in partnership with Ornatas ($50,219)
Aquatic animal health of tropical rock lobster grow out aquaculture production has not been established globally. This project will develop and validate detection, monitoring and provide proof of freedom data to support the culture of tropical rock lobster within the grow out conditions of Ornatas.
Kelly Condon and Max Garrett (College of Science & Engineering)
Rock lobster; Health; Biosecurity; Pathogens

CRC for Developing Northern Australia - Grant

Improved education and training models to futureproof the aquaculture industry need for skilled staff to 2050

Indicative Funding
$128,155 over 1 year, in partnership with LMC Training Pty Ltd ($1,000) and the Fisheries Research & Development Corporation ($18,200)
By evaluating industry workforce needs currently and into the future and analysing the gaps between industry need and educational output, we aim to highlight gaps in careers pathways to meet future industry requirements. These careers pathways will form the basis of promotional tools created to highlight education and skills development options that lead secondary students into the aquaculture industry. Cost-effective delivery models for training will be key to the outcomes of the project and a pilot project to up-skill existing industry employees in biosecurity will be used to develop and de-bottleneck new training delivery models.
Leo Nankervis, Kelly Condon and Amy Diedrich (College of Science & Engineering)
aquaculture; Careers; educational models

Department of Industry - Innovations Connections

Improving performance of bioreactors for treating effluent from land- based aquaculture.

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year, in partnership with Mainstream Aquaculture ($50,685)
Effluent from land-based aquaculture is problematic because of its nutrient content. This project aims to enhance the performance of `denitrification bioreactors? designed to remove nitrogen from effluent. It will be carried out on a barramundi farm near Innisfail. Availability of carbon appears to limit bioreactor performance, so the effect of adding molasses will be tested, under different conditions of salinity and retention time. The ability of the bioreactors to eliminate algae and parasites will also be tested. The results will be applicable to aquaculture farms throughout the tropics, facilitating more effective treatment of water leaving farms or being recirculated.
Alex Cheesman, Paul Nelson and Kelly Condon in collaboration with Marty Phillips (College of Science & Engineering and Mainstream Aquaculture Pty Ltd)
carbon; Barramundi (Lates calcarifer); water quality; Denitrification; Nitrate; pathogens

Department of Industry - Innovations Connections

Validation of anti-viral efficacy of proprietary formulation on selected prawn species

Indicative Funding
$52,667 over 1 year
Project will assess the efficacy of Proprietary substance as an antibacterial-antiviral substance in crustacean aquaculture. Expected outcomes of the project will deliver an indication of: ? Efficacy of the substance as an antimicrobial treatment in a crustacean hatchery environment ? Influence of the substance on the survival, growth and pathobiome of crustaceans, Artemia and Penaeus monodon.
Kelly Condon (College of Science & Engineering)
anti-viral; Antibacterial; Penaeus monodon; Artemia

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Aquatic Animal Health Subprogram

Disease diagnosis, biosecurity and disease management training for prawn farmers in Australia

Indicative Funding
$12,931 over 2 years (administered by Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation), in partnership with Australian Prawn Farmers Association ($3,000)
1. Develop and deliver a two-day training workshop to upskill trained aquaculture technicians in more advanced skills to support disease prevention and management on prawn hatcheries and farms. 2. Produce resources for use on farm to assist with sampling and routine farm analysis to monitor animal health. Improve network linkages between prawn industry members and other stakeholders responsible for the delivery of technical skills to support on farm disease prevention and management.
Kelly Condon in collaboration with Thomas Ackery (College of Science & Engineering)
Penaeus monodon; Aquaculture; Biosecurity; Training; Disease

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Projects

Biosecurity in northern Australian prawn aquaculture

Indicative Funding
$441,819 over 2 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

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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.

  • Investigating the Significance of Shrimp Viruses on Australian Black Tiger Shrimp (Penaeus monodon) Aquaculture Production (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Genetic Architecture and advanced selective Breeding of Health-related Production Traits in the Australian Giant Grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Genomic Modelling of Infectious Diseases in Commercial Aquaculture Settings (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • A historical occurrence of PMMS and strain: Variation in black tiger shrimp in Australian Aquaculture. (PhD , Secondary 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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