Australia's foremost aquatic animal disease specialist. Instigated the study of bacteriophage at James Cook University. Most interested in bacteriophage in the Vibrio harveyi clade and viruses of crustacea especially the parvoviruses and the use of RNA interference to combat them. Interested in nodaviruses of fish and crustacea and RNA intererference as a control. Investigating the role of viral UTRs in controlling immunity and diabetes onset.

  • MI5003: Diagnosis of Bacterial Diseases in Aquaculture (Level 5; TSV)
  • MI5301: Independent Project Part 1 of 2 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MI5302: Independent Project Part 2 of 2 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MI5402: Independent Project and Dissertation Part 2 of 2 (Level 5; TSV)
  • TV5240: Aquatic Pathobiology (Level 5; TSV)
  • bacteriophage in the Vibrio harveyi clade
  • viruses of crustacea
  • RNA interference
  • Streptococcus iniae
  • 1991 to present - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 1986 to 1991 - Postdoctoral researcher, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2010 - Vibrio owensii patrynomic
  • 1990 - Eutetrarhynchus owensi patrynomic

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 122+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Leigh Owens from 2000 onwards.

Current Funding

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

AgriFutures Australia - Research Grant

Viral Causes of Crayfish Handling Mortalities

Indicative Funding
$40,000 over 3 years (administered by North Queensland Crayfish Farmers Assn)
Northern Queensland crayfish from farms affected by stress, particularly transportation stress, started to die with mortality reaching 20-40% after about three weeks. Two new viruses were found, Cheque iflavirus and Athtab Bunya-like virus. This research will determine the infection cycle of the viruses to understand how to intervene and control the impact of these viruses.
Leigh Owens, Jennifer Elliman and Kitikarn Sakuna in collaboration with Colin Valverde (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and North Queensland Crayfish Farmer's Association)
Redclaw Crayfish; Iflavirus; Bunya-like virus; Parastacidae; Cherax quadricarinatus; RNA Interference

FinFish Enterprise Pty Ltd - Contract Research

Development of Preventative Vacing and iRNA to prevent Viral Nervous Necrosis in giant QLD grouper

Indicative Funding
$55,000 over 2 years
The project will develop and test the effectiveness of a vaccine and dsRNA to prevent the disease Viral Nervous Necrosis in giant groper Epinephalus lanceolatus. Expected outcomes: (1) Collection of genome sequence information on the Betanodavirus strains causing VNN in grouper; (2) Validation of a qPCR which detects and provides a number of viral copies of Betanodavirus; (3) Production of a recombinantly expressed Betanodavirus capsid protein; (4) Production of a Betanodavirus vaccine and dsRNA constructs to prevent VNN disease; (5) Assessment of the effectiveness of the Betanodavirus vaccine and dsRNA constructs in preventing VNN disease.
Kelly Condon, Leigh Owens and Terry Miller in collaboration with Adam Reynolds and Richard Knuckey (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Science & Engineering and Finfish Enterprise Pty Ltd)
Epinephalus lanceolatus; family Serranidae

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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.

  • Optimising diet formulation to improve production efficiencies of farmed redclaw (Cherax quadricarinatus) (Masters , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Development of Cell Cultures to Propogate Crustacean Viruses (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

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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  • 87.104, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences (Townsville campus)
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