Seafood Production & Sustainability

Overseen by Professor Jian Qin, the Seafood Production & Sustainability researchers explore these concepts through applied, industry-relevant research.

Our team are experts on fisheries and aquaculture production, ecosystem management and sustainability, nutrition, health and disease control, marine engineering and nanotechnology.

Our research aims to understand biological functions and mechanisms driving the sustainability of seafood production in freshwater environments, estuaries, coasts and oceans to better manage ecosystem productivity and health.

Seafood Production

Flinders University seafood production research brings together scientists across multiple disciplines to work on a wide variety of organisms. Our researchers are renowned experts in animal and plant nutrition, production and development, genetics, health management and aquaculture-environment interactions, using their vast knowledge to study:

cultural practices, nutritional requirements, farm management, anaesthetic use, bioenergetics, fish ecology, trophic relationships, dietary intervention, colour manipulation, disease treatment and feeding behaviour of aquatic animals.

New findings are applied to aquaculture practice, fisheries management, and environmental health to improve production efficiency and ecological sustainability.

The Seafood Co-operative Research Centre (CRC), led by Flinders University, resulted in the establishment of the world’s first year-round aquaculture of Yellowtail Kingfish; highly prized for sushi and sashimi. The CRC research had a direct impact on achieving increased fish survival through more effective hatchery management, new information on fish growth and health, superior genetic management and cost-effective dietary formulations. Our research has led to the success of the breakthrough of tank-bred tuna which won the second place in Time Magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of 2009.


Ecosystem Sustainability

Our researchers have expertise in global-change ecology and sustainability to explore how human endeavour and climate fluctuations have altered past, present and future ecosystems.

We study applied ecology, biodiversity conservation, theoretical ecology and species responses to climate change and disease through applying ecological theory and modelling techniques to predict the future change of ecosystems. Our research also explores the impact of environmental change on primary production, biofilm formation in aquatic systems, adaptation of plankton to salinity fluctuations, invertebrates, infauna and fish communities, predator abundance and movements and impact of microbial communities on biofouling of seafood production system such as cages and large net pens.

Our expertise spans a variety of habitats including intertidal and subtidal habitats in estuaries, bays, harbours and open coastlines, with findings from our research contributing to environmental policy advice around the world.

Marine Engineering and Nanotechnology

Our expertise includes marine engineering and autonomous marine vehicles for mission planning, vehicle navigation, guidance and control and situation awareness. We are involved in the complete business process of introducing a new or improved product to the market, from the initial identification of a market opportunity through to product retirement. In addition, our researchers in material science and engineering focus on structure-process-property relation of polymeric materials and nanocomposites, especially on rubber and epoxy based multifunctional and value-added nanocomposites for marine applications, bioresources, biomaterials and biosensors. Research in our group goes into the influences of nanometre to micrometre scale processes on microbial ecosystems and uses nanotechnology to investigate environmental viruses and metagenomics.