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Science based solutions to protect tropical ecosystems

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Research boat

Our research and projects

We provide industries, communities and governments with science-based solutions to better manage, protect and restore our tropical water ecosystems. Explore our research and projects.

We are James Cook University's Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER).

We lead influential research on tropical water ecosystems across northern Australia, and beyond, contributing to their sustainable management and global understanding.

About us

Led by Director Professor Damien Burrows, our centre includes 150 researchers and over 100 post-graduate students. Discover the passionate minds driving innovation in our field.

Our people

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Wetlands and freshwater habitats

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Our wetlands team use innovative and science-based solutions to restore, preserve, and rehabilitate coastal wetlands.

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Seagrass habitats

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We house Australia's largest seagrass research group and have more than 40 years of experience in seagrass research and monitoring across the Great Barrier Reef, Great Sandy Strait and northern Australia.

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Mangroves

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Our projects focus on monitoring, assessing, and restoring mangrove ecosystems to address environmental changes and impacts. We provide expert advice, conduct detailed floristic surveys, and develop effective mitigation strategies.

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Marine megafauna

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We use a combination of conventional and innovative research using cutting-edge technology to monitor the trends in the abundance, distribution and habitat use of megafauna across Australia and globally.

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eDNA and technology

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Technology is revolutionising the way scientists monitor, research and uncover new information about habitats and species. We are at the  testing the feasibility of new technologies, including eDNA, drones and AI.

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Water quality: catchment to reef

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We play a major role in monitoring the condition and tracking long-term trends of water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef. We work closely with cane farmers and graziers to help reduce runoff.

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Coral reef habitats

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Our scientists undertake multiple monitoring programs to provide governments, industries and communities with essential data on the condition of coral habitats.

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Fish habitats

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We monitor fish habitats and species in both freshwater and marine environments. This research monitors fish populations, tracks invasive fish species and helps understand fish communities.

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Our services and capabilities

We provide science-based solutions, stakeholder training, and innovative monitoring technologies. Our capabilities include water quality and eDNA labs, specialised training programs, technology development, and a range of environmental assessments and restoration efforts.

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