Dr Neil Hutchinson co-ordinates the Bachelor of Business and Environmental Science program at JCU and is based at our Singapore Campus. 

His main, continuing, research objectives lie in the examination of interactions between species in intertidal and shallow coastal marine systems and how such relationships are influenced by environmental factors.  His research focuses on how fish utilise coastal habitats, such as mangroves and seagrass beds, and he is currently examining the ecology of mesopredators such as bamboo sharks.    

Since completing his PhD in Marine Ecology in Hong Kong in 2000, Neil worked at a wide range of institutions including universities, government research laboratories and NGO’s, providing research services and information to a variety of stakeholders. He  advocates research  that has direct implications for conservation biology and fisheries management.

Potential PhD projects in Singapore include:

Assessing marine fish habitat utilisation around a "future city"

Singapore has developed rapidly over the last 50 years, and has become a regional icon in relation to land based development.  This has inevitably led to the loss and fragmentation of coastal marine habitats.  Current understanding of how this has impacted wild marine fish populations around Singapore is minimal.  This project will examine the population structure and movement patterns of fish species found in Singapore waters.  A range of techniques will be utilised that may include acoustic tracking, underwater video systems, and potentially novel genetic tools.  An important project outcome will be the provision of information to resource managers. Would suit an applicant who is highly motivated and has completed Honours, Masters or appropriate Postgraduate research training in fisheries science and marine ecology or an associated field.  Familiarity with acoustic telemetry, BRUVs or population genetics would be an advantage, but overall an acute desire to develop more skills is vital.  The candidate should be field competent and happy working on boats as well as in laboratory situations.

Sentinels in tropical aquaculture: tracking individual behaviour to improve farming practices

Over 50% of fisheries production in Southeast Asia is from aquaculture, amounting to over US$17 billion per year.  Automation will enable the industry to develop more sustainable practices, reducing environmental impacts and costs while improving the quality of fisheries products. This project will focus on how the behaviour of individual, sentinel, animals in an aquaculture system can be used to understand the behaviour of the broader population. Animal tracking technologies will be used in real-life situations in commercial farms. This information will enable the development of rapid adaptive management strategies, to maximise animal condition and production. Would suit an applicant who is highly motivated and has completed Honours, Masters or appropriate Postgraduate research training in Aquaculture, Marine Science or an associated field.  Familiarity with acoustic telemetry and analysis would be an advantage.  The candidate should be keen to work in field and laboratory situations and should possess a positive and open approach to communication that would enable them to work closely with non-academic partners.

For more details on these projects, or to discuss other research interests, please contact Dr Hutchinson via email. For more details on current projects see this link.

  • BS1007: Introduction to Biodiversity (Level 1; SIN)
  • BS5460: Fundamentals of Ecology (Level 5; TSV)
  • MB3200: Marine Conservation Biology (Level 3; SIN)
  • MB5001: Tropical Marine Ecology and Coastal Impacts (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC3901: Special Topic 1 (Level 3; SIN)
  • SC5901: Special Topic 1 (Level 5; SIN)
  • SC5902: Special Topic 2 (Level 5; SIN)
Research Disciplines

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 20+ research outputs authored by Dr Neil Hutchinson from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Shark Conservation Fund - Small Grant

Southeast Asian shark and ray research and conservation capacity building workshop 2019

Indicative Funding
$34,035 over 5 years
Capacity building workshop for South East Asian shark and ray researchers, NGOs, academics, fisheries officers and government agencies. The project will bring together participant from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines for a workshop at JCU-Singapore in shark field research techniques, analysis of movement data and fisheries risk assessment.
Andrew Chin and Neil Hutchinson in collaboration with Vinay Udawyer (College of Science & Engineering and Australian Institute of Marine Science)
capacity building; Fisheries; Shark; Marine Parks; Management; conservaton

Save Our Seas Foundation - Grant

Life history of the critically endangered ray bottlenose wedgefish Rhynchobatus australiae

Indicative Funding
$13,259 over 3 years
Management and conservation efforts for threatened species can be hampered by the lack of age, growth and maturity (life history) information. The bottlenose wedgefish, Rhynchobatus australiae, is a large coastal ray that is found throughout the Indo-Pacific. It is the most commonly caught wedgefish and it is retained in fisheries for its high valued fins and meat. It is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List and faces an extremely high risk of extinction. However there is limited life history information available globally. This project will further the biological knowledge available for this species and can be used to help implement effective management and conservation measures.
Brooke D'Alberto and Neil Hutchinson (College of Science & Engineering and Corporate P&L)
Rhinidae; Conservation; data poor species; Life History; Threatened Species; coastal species

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.

  • Life history, ecology and fisheries impact on Carcharhinus sealei and Carcharhinus tjutjot: implications for conservation and management (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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