Key challenges tackled in the national plan

The National Marine Science Plan estimates that the value of Australia's blue economy could reach $100 billion per annum by 2025* if science, technology and innovation address the following key challenges:

  • marine sovereignty and security
  • energy security
  • food security
  • biodiversity conservation
  • sustainable urban coastal development
  • climate change adaptation
  • resource allocation.

Deakin Marine's multidisciplinary research capabilities align directly with the plan’s key challenges – we seek to understand climate change impacts on temperate marine waters and to link ocean and coastal processes with socioeconomic development to drive sustainable ocean and coastal management in a changing world.

Integrating Indigenous knowledge into our research

We engage with First Nations people to integrate Indigenous knowledge into our research# which facilitates self-determination and management of Sea Country. We collaborate with Traditional Owner groups in marine data collection and undertake joint initiatives to close knowledge gaps on important marine flora and fauna such as shortfin eel, sharks and rays, and seaweeds.

Our research areas

We conduct high-impact research through four interconnected areas that intersect with our four themes of climate change, ecosystems, technology and First Nations.

Blue carbon

We develop innovative research solutions and practices using coastal and freshwater ecosystems to aid climate change mitigation and adaptation, while supporting biodiversity, economic growth, capacity building and community wellbeing.


We work closely with the dynamic aquaculture industry to develop long-term, environmentally responsible and culturally sensitive management strategies that help to meet global demands for healthy seafood.

Ocean life and resources

We research the effects of environmental variability and human activities on the physiology, ecology, behaviour and demography of marine organisms such as megafauna, fish, invertebrates, seaweeds and marine plants. Our research contributes to the development of management strategies for marine biosecurity, fisheries and the impacts of offshore energy.

Coasts and people

We seek to understand coastal processes and the effects of climate change. Our coastal observations and monitoring program is an integral part of the national Integrated Marine Observing System network and the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program.

Unlock the potential of sustainable ocean economies

Work on innovative projects to future proof our blue economy at the #1 ranked university in Australia for graduate employment.^

Featured Researchers

Our team of multidisciplinary researchers conduct high-impact marine research through our four research areas. We rank well above world standard for research in fisheries, and environmental science and management.**

Professor Tim Dempster, Director of Deakin Marine, is a world authority on interactions between aquaculture and the environment, and production techniques and technologies. Among the top 2% of researchers globally, he leads the Sustainable Aquaculture Laboratory – Temperate and Tropical (SALTT).

Professor John Arnould leads the Ocean life and resources research area and examines the influence of environmental variability on top predators in south-eastern Australia. His research generates knowledge of climate change impacts on marine species, which is essential for conservation and economically important to fisheries, offshore energy and tourism.

Associate Professor Daniel Ierodiaconou leads the Coasts and people research area and heads the Deakin Marine Mapping Group. He uses multidisciplinary approaches to improve understanding of the coastal processes that inform marine ecosystem-based management, and co-developed the Eureka Prize-winning Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program.

Associate Professor David Francis leads the Aquaculture research area. His research investigates novel feed ingredients, aquafeed sustainability, nutritional requirements and lifecycle closure in marine species, and makes a vital contribution to the industry’s expansion and sustainability.

Professor Graeme Hays won a prestigious SCOPUS Research Award (ANZ) in 2022. His research employs satellite tracking to monitor patterns of habitat use by marine animals and has improved global sea turtle conservation.

Associate Professor Timothy Clark is an expert in aquatic animal ecophysiology and environmental change. He uses lab-based environmental manipulations and electronic tagging technologies to understand physiological and behavioural responses to environmental changes and anthropogenic perturbations.

Dr Prue Francis explores innovative methods to promote ocean literacy through research, education and engagement. Dr Francis also has an interest in the seaweed industry and restoration of seaweed ecosystems.

Our strategic locations

Our strategic locations

Flanked by the Bass Strait, the Victorian coastline, and Port Phillip and Western Port Bays, Deakin is ideally positioned for marine research. Our strategic locations and cutting-edge facilities at Warrnambool and Queenscliff (Queenscliff Marine Science Centre) provide field access to these important waterways and the Great Southern Reef that supports some of Australia's most significant marine ecosystems.

Our partnerships

A preferred partner of industry, government, universities and community organisations, we are nationally renowned for our research in aquaculture, fisheries science, marine mapping, blue carbon, marine climate change impacts and biodiversity conservation.

We are a trusted partner of more than 500 leading organisations in 65 countries. A national leader in research commercialisation, our long-standing industry partnerships are testament to our collaborative ways of working and delivery of high-impact outcomes.


*National Marine Science Committee 2015, National Marine Science Plan 2015–2025
#National Marine Science Committee 2021, National Marine Science Plan 2015–2025: The Midway Point
^Graduate Outcomes Survey 2022, Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT), based on overall employment for undergraduate students
**ERA 2018–19

Contact us

Stay in touch with us to hear about the latest research opportunities. Any questions?

Email the team