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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.


I have worked in the School of Access Education at CQUniversity since late 2019. I lecture and coordinate the Introductory Biology unit in the Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) programme. I am passionate about teaching into the enabling space and combining this passion with my interests and experience in biology.

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





Subject editor (Platyhelminthes), Zootaxa.

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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