About the centre

Our vision is for healthy, biodiverse and productive aquatic ecosystems supporting vibrant societies in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.

Our mission is to provide, through discovery and innovation, adaptive and lasting solutions for protecting the health of aquatic ecosystems that underpin our economy and society.

Healthy freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems underpin economic development and provide social and recreational values for communities in Australia and throughout the world.

Centre Director: Professor Alan Lymbery

The centre’s core research areas

The inherent connection of freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems means that they must be studied and managed in an integrated fashion. In recognition of this, the research program of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems consists of four interrelated nodes: Fisheries and aquaculture, marine megafauna, catchments to coast and, oceanography.

Fish being held

Fisheries and Aquaculture

Our research helps to underpin sustainable management of wild capture fisheries and the development of environmentally sound aquaculture practices. We have expertise in fisheries biology, fish diseases, stock enhancement, animal breeding and algal biotechnology.

Recent and current projects include restocking western school prawns in the Swan-Canning estuary, investigating the efficacy of algal culture to provide high-value products from wastewater, and developing new treatment and control methods for diseases in yellowtail kingfish.

Saw tooth fish

Marine Megafauna

Large, charismatic aquatic species can capture the imagination of the public and serve as conservation flagships to promote the protection of biodiversity. To this end, we study the biology of sharks and rays, turtles, and marine mammals, such as dolphins, whales and dugongs. We have expertise in physiological ecology, behaviour, animal health and quantitative data analysis.

Much of our work utilises technological innovations, such as drones, biologging and artificial intelligence to monitor aquatic animals. Current projects include the ecological energetics of sharks and whales, foraging ecology of flatback turtles and white sharks, monitoring whale shark and dugong populations, and the health of bottlenose dolphins.

Aerial shot of sea and river meeting

Catchments to Coast

We conduct translational research to support the sustainable management of inland and estuarine aquatic ecosystems. Recognising the fundamental flow-mediated connections within catchments, our research seeks to understand the links between land, water and biodiversity management through knowledge of ecosystem processes.

We have expertise in riverine, wetland and estuarine ecology, species biology, community ecology, ecosystem biological processes, and hydro-ecological relationships. Our current projects are focused on understanding and developing solutions around the challenges of climate change, eutrophication, salinization, invasive species and water resource development.

Large research ship


Our research extends from coastal waters out to the high seas, and our expertise is primarily in understanding the influence of oceanographic processes on the ecology of the Indian Ocean. Our research is solution-focussed and encompasses state-of-the-art techniques to obtain a real-time understanding of the marine environment, as well as the rehabilitation of coastal and marine habitats.

Key researchers

Dr Stephen Batty

Dr Stephen Beatty

Deputy Director

Dr Adrain Gleiss

Dr Adrian Gleiss


Dr Jennifer Verduin

Dr Jennifer Verduin


Dr James Tweedley

Dr James Tweedley


Associate Professor Belinda Robson

Associate Professor Belinda Robson


Associate Professor David Morgan

Associate Professor David Morgan


Two researchers in outdoor area

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