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Professor Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University

Jan Strugnell investigates the evolution and function of marine organisms using genomic and proteomic techniques. Her research encompasses both applied and blue skies questions.

Jan applies next generation sequencing tools to help solve bottlenecks in fisheries and aquaculture industries. Supported by the ARC, her laboratory group is investigating population differentiation, recruitment and adaptation in a range of commercially important lobster species. They also work on marine species that are shifting range in response to climate change and are investigating the genetic basis for resilience and susceptibility to temperature stress in abalone. Prof Strugnell also investigates population and species level molecular evolution in Antarctic and deep-sea taxa in the context of past climatic and geological change.

Prof Strugnell completed her BSc (hons) at James Cook University before obtaining her DPhil at Oxford University, UK, funded by a Rhodes Scholarship. During her DPhill she used molecular and fossil evidence to investigate phylogenetic relationship and divergence times within cephalopods (octopus, squids and cuttlefish). Prof Strugnell then worked as a post doctoral research fellow at Queen's University, Belfast, the British Antarctic Survey and Cambridge University, UK, where she investigated evolutionary relationships within and between Antarctic and deep-sea octopods.


  • 2016–present
    Professor, James Cook University
  • 2010–2016
    Lecturer, La Trobe University
  • 2008–2009
    Lloyd's Tercentenary Fellow, Cambridge University
  • 2005–2007
    Post doc, British Antarctic Survey, Queens University Belfast


  • 2004 
    Oxford University, D.Phil.