Rocky de Nys is Emertius Professor at James Cook University and Chief Scientist at Sea Forest. He has extensive research experience in aquaculture and marine and environmental biotechnology, algal biomass and bio-products, and marine natural products. He has a focus on applied research with an emphasis on commercialisation where there are direct and foreseeable outcomes for industry. He has engaged in strong industry collaborations in the development and implementation of technologies for sustainable aquaculture, with a focus on the production of macroalgal biomass for bioremediation and bio-products. Applications for these technologies range from algal bioremediation of wastewaters from aquaculture and municipal water treatment through to algal biomass for human foods and bioenergy.

Sea Forest is an Australian environmental technology company delivering world-leading production methods and products from the native seaweed Asparagopsis to materially reduce methane emissions in ruminant livestock and decarbonise the agriculture sector. 

  • Innovative applications for macroalgal resources and biotechnologies
  • Macroalgal biomass and bioproducts
  • Bioremediation of aquatic waste waters
  • Bioremediation of industrial waste waters and carbon capture
  • 2021 to 2030 - Chief Scientist, Sea Forest (Tasmania)
  • 2011 to 2021 - 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
  • 2017 - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE)

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 216+ 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.

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

Sea Forest Pty Ltd - Contract Research

Cultivation of Asparagopsis taxiformis

Indicative Funding
$90,573 over 2 years
This project aims to deliver the closed life cycle production of gametophytes from tetraspores of A. taxiforms. Specifically, it will develop the techniques for the mass formation of tetraspores of A. taxiformis and their subsequent germination and growth to multicellular erect gametophytes.
Rocky de Nys (College of Science & Engineering)
aquaculture; natural products; seaweed; methane emissions

Mainstream Aquaculture - Contract Research

Ongoing contract research until June 2021

Indicative Funding
$72,532 over 1 year
To conduct ongoing contract research with known industry partner at 1 day per week ~ 0.2 FTE.
Rocky de Nys (College of Science & Engineering)
Aquaculture; Barramundi; Sustainability; Bioremediation

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Projects

Flavour enhancing functional feeds for farmed barramundi

Indicative Funding
$4,170 over 3 years (administered by Deakin University)
This project will develop novel functional feeds for improving the flavour quality of Australian farmed barramundi. Using a multidisciplinary approach, this Project expects to expand our fundamental knowledge of flavour enhancement, whilst providing significant practical benefits with respect to final product quality. The project's outcomes will enable industry to achieve higher product quality benchmarks, towards the ultimate goal of improving the marketability of barramundi both locally and overseas. This project is intended to provide significant benefits to the Australian barramundi industry by increasing product values, thereby facilitating an economically sustainable growth of this important regional industry.
David Francis, Giovanni Turchini, Rocky de Nys, Damien Callahan, Xavier Conlan, Russell Keast and Vittorio Moretti in collaboration with Richard Smullen and Sue Poole (Deakin University, College of Science & Engineering, Universita degli Studi di Milano, Ridley AgriProducts and DAF)
aquaculture; Flavour; Barramundi; Food Chemistry; Seaweed; Animal Nutrition

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Expressions of Interest

Northern Aquaculture Industry Situational Analysis

Indicative Funding
$202,117 over 1 year
This project will identify key challenges and opportunities facing the North Australian aquaculture sector and explore potential solutions and/or identify the most strategic research projects for further investment. This will include and not be limited to: infrastructure, policy, investment, environmental, production, knoweldge, training and human capital gaps and the research or alternative solutions to address them. The project will be delivered through a literature review, development of the 'Northern aquaculture industry vision 2028' in consultation with indigenous and non-indigenous stakholders, desktop study and SWOT analysis, and the situational analysis report.
Dean Jerry, Jennifer Cobcroft, Kyall Zenger, Jan Strugnell, Amy Diedrich, Chaoshu Zeng, Rocky de Nys and Sandra Hughes in collaboration with Matthew Cook, Robert Bell, Jane Lovell, Wayne Hutchinson, Kim Hooper and Jo-Anne Ruscoe (College of Science & Engineering, JCU Singapore, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Blueshift Consulting, Seafood Industry Australia, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Australian Prawn Farmers Association and Australian Barramundi Farmers Association)
Northern Australia; 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.

  • A strategic roadmap for the selection of high-performance strains of Asparagopsis taxiformis in an aquaculture setting (PhD , External Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.


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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