TropWATER – Providing Solutions for Government, Communities and Industry

Who are we?

The Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER) is Australia’s premiere tropical aquatic research group. We undertake influential research in fields related to water science, resource management and the ecology of water ecosystems.
TropWATER is an amalgamation of aquatic expertise from across James Cook University. It brings over 150 research and supporting staff and over 100 post-graduate students into one cohesive research group led by Director Professor Damien Burrows. TropWATER provides a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary research activities by integrating JCU’s aquatic expertise into one unit, which covers the full spectrum of freshwater, estuarine and marine waters, with expertise from ecology, water quality, hydrology, engineering, physics, oceanography, modelling and resource economics. We are primarily funded by nationally and international government agencies, industry and private enterprise. Our funding from these sources was over $7.5M in 2014. 

Our Mission

TropWATER aims to conduct highly-recognised and influential research in fields related to water science, resource management and the ecology of water ecosystems, with a special focus on achieving sustainable use of water resource systems and water ecosystems. Our overall goal is to secure the future of water ecosystems and maintain their critical functional processes. The Centre has a strong, but not exclusive, focus on tropical water systems, both in Australia and internationally. It is concerned with major issues in water science, including water resources, water quality and aquatic biodiversity, in relation to economic, social and environmental needs, constraints and change.

Our People

TropWATER brings together a wealth of aquatic expertise spread across various locations worldwide. Most TropWATER staff are based at the new spacious and modern Australian Tropical Sciences and Innovation Precinct (ATSIP) on JCU’s Townsville Campus. This building sees us co-locating with CSIRO and includes a custom-built aquarium complex, a state of the art Water Quality Laboratory and environmental DNA Laboratory Services. Over 30 staff are based at JCU’s Cairns Campus, where our Seagrass Research Group and laboratory is located.


Contact Us


Find out more Email Us Phone 07 4781 4073