A flagship facility for Deakin Marine Science

Deakin University has completed an upgrade of the teaching and research laboratories at Deakin’s Queenscliff Marine Science Centre, establishing the facility as a key site for the Deakin Marine Research and Innovation Centre and the delivery of the Bachelor of Marine Science.

The upgrade includes state-of-the-art aquarium facilities, a new high-performance computing laboratory, and modern audio-visual and conferencing facilities in the large conference room.  These facilities will enhance marine science research and postgraduate and undergraduate student training and benefit our industry partners and local communities directly.

The Bachelor of Marine Science undergraduate degree is the only dedicated undergraduate marine science degree in Victoria and will use the Queenscliff Marine Science Centre to provide unique experiential learning experiences for students.

The $3.5million project is being supported by Deakin and the Victorian Government’s Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF).

Partnerships and collaboration

In partnership with the City of Greater Geelong, optic fibre will be connected to the AARNet network to provide low-cost access to an ultra-high-speed network for education and not-for-profit organisations in the City of Greater Geelong and across the Bellarine Peninsula, including primary schools, secondary schools, libraries, and community halls.

The upgraded facilities at Queenscliff will enhance collaboration with the Victorian Fisheries Authority in fisheries science.

Learn how you can work with us by emailing Professor John Donald.

Deakin Marine Research and Innovation Centre

Deakin Marine Research and Innovation Centre – Deakin Marine – is Victoria's leading university-based marine centre. Our unrivalled research breadth and expertise drives transformational outcomes for ocean-based economies and the environment.

As a nation of beach lovers and a globally recognised hotspot of marine biodiversity, Australia is well-placed to lead the way when it comes to educating our children in marine science. I believe that by raising awareness and knowledge about the ocean, we can inspire a new generation of marine stewards.

Dr Prue Francis

Senior Lecturer in Marine Science

Spotlight on Dr Prue Francis


  • Senior Lecturer in Marine Science
  • Professional Practice in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences
  • Course Director of the Bachelor of Marine Science at Deakin University


  • Improving ocean literacy in education
  • Seaweed cultivation techniques
  • Enhancing employability outcomes in Higher Education

Dr Prue Francis teamed up with Dr Paul Venzo from the Faculty of Arts and Education to write and publish a children's book called "The Great Southern Reef". 'The Great Southern Reef' is an important tool in assisting primary school teachers in increasing Ocean Literacy in their students.

The idea for the book came from Prue and her research team reviewing ocean picture books, where it was revealed that there was little representation of picture books focused on Australia’s temperate region.

Further research conducted in primary schools showed that teachers were not confident enough in their knowledge to teach about the ocean in the classroom.

Prue and Paul got together to write a picture book to support teachers by using an easy and familiar resource for introducing new concepts to children, with a few different goals:

'There are a few hidden agendas here. Not only do we want to raise awareness for the Great Southern Reef and improve Ocean Literacy in schools - that was ultimately the biggest goal - but there were some underlying messages that we wanted to be part of the book not only for our research interests but for our personal interests as well.

'Female leaders in Marine Science are under-represented, so Professor Seaweed – the story’s main protagonist - represents this and makes small ripples of change from the stereotypical "crazy-haired, white male" scientist often portrayed in picture books.'

'We wanted to ensure that the two children featured in the story represented gender-neutral children through their names and appearance. So that not only can a boy and a girl relate to the story, but also a non-binary child can also relate to the characters and immerse themselves in the story.'

Our researchers

Our team of multidisciplinary researchers conduct high-impact marine research.

Associate Professor David Francis
Associate Head of School Waurn Ponds and Queenscliff
Aquaculture Nutrition

Professor John Donald
Director, Deakin Marine Research and Innovation Centre

Professor Tim Dempster
Aquaculture and Marine Biology

Associate Professor Craig Sherman
Associate Head of School Research and Industry Engagement
Marine Ecology and Genetics

Associate Professor Timothy Clark
ARC Future Fellow
Marine Animal Physiology

Dr Prue Francis
Senior Lecturer in Marine Science and Professional Practice

Dr Ty Matthews
Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology

Dr Samm Sherman
Senior Lecturer in Fisheries Science

Dr Andrew Oxley
Lecturer in Marine Microbiology

Dr Kay Critchell
Lecturer in Oceanography

Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF)

This project includes co-contributions from the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF).

For further information on our other Deakin VHESIF funded projects please explore the projects below.

Work with us

For all enquiries about the Deakin Queenscliff Marine Science Centre please contact:

Professor John Donald
Director, Deakin Marine Research and Innovation Centre