My main interests lie in the development and application of genomic and bioinformatics tools to answer research questions. Currently I am involved in two major projects.

For TropWater I am developing and optimising metabarcoding protocols. Metabarcoding uses universal PCR primers to simultaneously identify species composition and biodiversity in various sources of enivronmental DNA (eDNA), including water samples, stomach content of fishes, or faecal matter.

I am also involved in the ARC Research Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding, where I lead the assembly of the Tiger Prawn (Penaeus monodon) genome and transcriptome.

  • BC3101: Genes, Genomes and Development (Level 3; TSV)
  • BC5101: Advanced Genes, Genomes and Development (Level 5; TSV)
  • 2015 to present - Post-doctoral researcher, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2014 to 2015 - Research Assistant, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2009 to 2014 - Doctor of Philosophy. Thesis title: Microalgal lipid biosynthesis - Phylogeny of Acetyl-CoA carboxylase and gene expression patterns of key enzymes, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2007 to 2008 - Master of Applied Science. Major: Marine Biology, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2003 to 2006 - Senior Analyst, Study Director and Deputy Team Leader, MDS Pharma Services Switzerland AG (Fehraltorf, Switzerland)
  • 1999 to 2002 - Bachelor of Chemistry (Biotechnological Engineer). Major: Biological Chemistry, Focus: Biochemistry, Zurich University of Applied Science Winterthur (ZHAW) (Winterthur, Switzerland)
  • 1995 to 1998 - Apprenticeship as Chemical Laboratory Assistant, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) (Duebendorf, Switzerland)
Research Disciplines
  • 2008 - MAppSc: University Medal for Excellence
  • 2002 - BSc: Award for outstanding performance by the Swiss Union of Applied Chemistry (SVC)

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.

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Current Funding

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

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) - Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub

The Northern Australia eDNA Program - Revolutionising Aquatic Monitoring and Field Surveys in Tropical Waters

Indicative Funding
$570,000 over 3 years
All organisms shed DNA into their environment. This is termed environment DNA (eDNA). Capture and analysis of eDNA (in soil or water samples) is a highly efficient and sensitive method to detect the presence of a wide range of species without actually requiring physical capture, or sighting of the organisms themselves. eDNA field sampling can involve as little as collecting water samples and
Damien Burrows, Jan Strugnell, Roger Huerlimann, Richard C Edmunds and Dean Jerry (TropWATER and College of Science & Engineering)
eDNA; Threatened Species; Northern Australia; exotic pest species; aquatic monitoring; Genetics

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.

  • Monitoring tropical freshwater biodiversity using environmental DNA (eDNA) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Resolving the global occurrence and distribution of sawfishes using genetic techniques (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Genomics and Transmission Dynamics of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in PNG and the Torres Strait (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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