The MACRO research group (the Centre for Macroalgal Resources and Biotechnology) provides research, development and implementation for cost-effective delivery of algal biomass to value-add to the treatment of discharge water for aquaculture, municipal waste water treatment,agriculture, mining, mineral processing and energy generation.

The research group focuses on innovative applied research that can move quickly to commercial demonstration with industry  partner MBD Industries.  MBD uses the outcomes of this research to create innovative processes for bioremediation and subsequent end-use of the algal biomass ranging from food products to fertilisers and biostimulants.to.

As the leader of MACRO, Rocky’s role focuses on the planning, organisational and management requirements for the successful delivery of multi-disciplinary research and its application.


  • Innovative applications for macroalgal resources and biotechnologies
  • Macroalgal biomass and bioproducts
  • Bioremediation of aquatic waste waters
  • Bioremediation of industrial waste waters and carbon capture
  • 2011 to present - Professor and Research Leader, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2005 to 2011 - Professor and Head of Discipline - Aquaculture, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2002 to 2005 - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 1994 to 2002 - ARC Research Fellow and Postdoctoral Fellow, University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)
  • 2000 - Graduate Diploma of Technical Management, Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia)
  • 1993 to 1994 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • 1992 - PhD, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 1988 - MSc, University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand)
  • 1985 - BSc, University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2006 - CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship Fellowship
  • 2002 - JCU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Entrepreneurial Research
  • 2001 - Young Tall Poppy NSW (Australian Institute of Political Science), Recognising the achievements of Australia's outstanding younf researchers
  • Chartered chemist
  • MRACI - Royal Australian Chemical Institute

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 194+ research outputs authored by Prof Rocky de Nys from 2000 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Global Innovation Linkages Programme

Algae technology aiding aquaculture sustainability and food security

Indicative Funding
$548,010 over 3 years (administered by MBD Energy)
The first targeted outcome of this project will be to clean incoming and waste water to improve walter quality and provide increased bio-security from bacterial pathogens in intensive aquaculture. The second targeted outcome will be to test the efficacy of functional algae in shrimp feed to improve disease resistance and product quality. Overall these outcome will deliver a sustainable platform for aquaculture in Vietnam.
Arnold Mangott, Rocky de Nys, Dan Mulder, Thomas Torsten and Dinh Lam (MBD Energy, College of Science & Engineering, The University of New South Wales and Viet-Uc)
Aquaculture; Aquatic Animal Health; Bioremediation; Food Security; Biosecurity; Sustainability

MBD Energy Ltd - Contract Research


Indicative Funding
$5,985,766 over 5 years
This project delivers the applied research to implement macroalgae as a biotechnology for the remediation of waste waters from agriculture, aquaculture and municipal and industrial use. It also delivers the development if bio-products from algal biomass to value-add to the bioremediation process.
Rocky de Nys in collaboration with Rebecca Lawton, Andrew Cole, David Roberts, Marie Magnusson, Thomas Mannering and Jonathan Moorhead (College of Science & Engineering)
Macroalgae; bio-products; Seaweed; Bioremediation

QLD Department of Science, Information, Technology and Innovation - Advance Queensland Innovation Partnerships

Health products from Queensland algae

Indicative Funding
$53,559 over 2 years (administered by University of Southern Queensland)
The overarching aim of the project is to generate the evidence required to create new health products from algae produced in Queensland by the industry partner MBD. The project team has recently demonstrated the potential therapeutic benefits of using algae in diets to deliver nutrients and minerals. This work shows that algae are functional foods, that is, foods that could reverse or prevent disease and deliver health benefits. We will now test whether a range of products can be developed from different algae to decrease or prevent obesity, improve muscle tone especially in the elderly, and prebiotics for gut health.
Rocky de Nys, David Roberts, Lindsay Brown, Sunil Panchal and Arnold Mangott (College of Science & Engineering and University of Southern Queensland)
Algae; Metabolic Syndrome; Minerals; Health; Pigments; Seaweed

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Innovation Connections - Entrepreneurs' Programme

Translating research and development into best practice aquaculture through wastewater service and new product development

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 2 years, in partnership with MBD Energy Ltd ($50,000)
This project will deliver research and development capability to MBD Energy Ltd through the placement of Dr Nicholas Paul in the business in order to develop and implement new ideas with commercial potential in products and services.
Rocky de Nys and Nicholas Paul (College of Science & Engineering)
Seaweed; Algae; Aquaculture; Business; Products; Services

Meat & Livestock Australia - Research Grant

MLA Algae Feeding Trial

Indicative Funding
$140,250 over 2 years (administered by CSIRO)
This project will provide the tropical seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis, as a novel feed supplement with the objective of reducing methane emissions from ruminant animals.
Rocky de Nys (College of Science & Engineering)
aquaculture; methane emissions; Seaweed; Nutrition; Macroalgae; ruminants

CSIRO - Carbon Farming Futures

Algal Based Functional Foods for Reducing Enteric Methane Emissions From Cattle

Indicative Funding
$116,900 over 3 years
This project provides the scientific evidence to substantiate the use of algal based functional foods in a CFI methodology to reduce methane emissions from feedlot cattle.
Rocky de Nys and Nicholas Paul in collaboration with Lorenna Machado (College of Science & Engineering)
Seaweeds; Algae; Cattle; Methane Emissions; Carbon Farming; Aquaculture

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.

  • Sulfated polysaccharides (ulvan) from Ulva ohnoi (Chlorophyta): Identifying parameters for structure­activity relationships (PhD , Advisor Mentor)

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)

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