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Dr. David Vaughan

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, Pr.Sci.Nat.
Lect - Introductory Biology, Chemistry & Maths
School of Access Education
Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre
Rockhampton North - Building 32, Room G29
About Me

I originate from South Africa where I worked primarily in aquatic animal health in both the public aquarium and marine aquaculture industry sectors. I have a background in marine parasitology and taxonomy, and have a keen interest in symbiosis, and the interrelated processes that govern symbioses. As such I like to view symbiosis on a continuum, rather than placing examples into strict compartmental constructs. I also have a naturally keen interest in biology and enjoy culturing orchids in my free time. I obtained my BSc (Hons) and MSc from the University of the Western Cape (RSA), and my PhD from James Cook University.

Universities Studied At

  • University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
  • James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Universities Worked At

  • James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  • Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia


2019: Top cited article for 2017–2018; Fish and Fisheries (DOI:10.1111/faf.12198)

2017: 2nd prize, oral presentation, FRDC Aquatic Animal Health Conference, Cairns

2016: People’s Choice Award, Reperio, James Cook University Innovation Pitching Competition

2015: Highly Commended Award – Ecological Society of Australia

2015: International Post-graduate Research Scholarship – James Cook University

2015: Prestige Scholarship – James Cook University

2011: Bernard Harrison and Friends Conservation Award for Best Professional Development – Pan-African Association of Zoos and Aquaria

2011: Junior W. O. Neits Medal in Parasitology – Parasitological Society of Southern Africa

2007: Dean’s Merit List – The University of the Western Cape, South Africa

2006: 1st prize (Honours category), The University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Previous teaching

January 2019 to June 2019: Lecturer (casual), James Cook University, Townsville

Course coordinator (JCU Townsville and JCU Singapore):

AQ3015 Sustainable Aquaculture (undergraduate)

AQ5015 Sustainable Aquaculture (Masters course)

Course assistance (co-coordination):

AQ2001 Introduction to Aquaculture (undergraduate)

AQ5006 Aquaculture: Principles and Practices (Masters course)

June 2015 to December 2018: Research assistant and lecturer (casual), James Cook University, Townsville

Course assistance:

AQ2001, AQ5006, AQ3015, AQ5015

Professional Experience

June 2012 to May 2015: Histologist (veterinary diagnostics, aquaculture), Amanzi Biosecurity, Hermanus, South Africa

April 2007 to May 2012: Researcher, Aquatic Animal Health, Two Oceans Aquarium, South Africa (senior position)

September 2005 to March 2007: Senior Aquarist, Two Oceans Aquarium, South Africa

February 2003 to August 2005: Senior Aquarist, South African Association for Marine Biological Research

September 1997 to January 2003: Aquarist, Two Oceans Aquarium, South Africa

Professional Memberships

Registered Professional Natural Scientist (legislated registration; Pr.Sci.Nat, No. 400075/17; RSA).


Previous Category B member of the Animal Ethics Committee, James Cook University, Australia (2018/2019).

Professional Interests

Aquatic Animal Health:

  • Symbioses: Marine Parasitology: Monogenea: Anoplodiscidae, Capsalidae, Hexabothriidae, Microbothriidae, Monocotylidae; Cultures; Cleaning symbiosis: Philosophy, Shrimp; Biological control


Key Achievements

My four children.

Computer Software





Associate Editor and Australian represenative, International Ichthyoparasitology Newsletter.

Consultancy Work

Aquatic Animal Health, Quarantine and Biosecurity training for public aquaria.

Research Supervision

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • 3005 Fisheries Sciences
  • 3104 Evolutionary Biology
  • 4103 Environmental Biotechnology

At the level of Principal Supervisor

Current Capacity
I am currently available to supervise more research candidates
No Supervisions to display.
Research Interests
Earth Sciences

Other Earth Sciences - Earth Sciences not elsewhere classified

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