Black Fillet Project

About Us

Meet the team behind the black fillet project

Meet our Tasmanian Team

Professor Barbara Nowak

Barbara, an expert in aquatic animal health, is working with the international aquaculture industry to solve the problems of common farmed fish diseases. Barbara is internationally renowned for her research in aquatic animal health, specifically finfish. 

Professor Nowak's background is in aquatic toxicology, in particular the biological significance of chemical residues in fish, and fish biology. Her current research is concerned with the health of farmed fish with a focus on the interaction between host, pathogen and the environment. In particular her research is concerned with disease control and investigation of fish mortalities. The research has had significant impact improving aquaculture production and sustainability.
Jeremy Lyle fishing

Assoc Prof. Jeremy Lyle

Associate Professor Jeremy Lyle is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. He is interested in the field of fisheries ecology and biology with a particular focus on understanding fish population dynamics, the impacts of fishing on fish stocks and the characteristics of the recreational as well as commercial fishing sectors.

After completing his PhD at the University of Liverpool (UK), Jeremy was employed as a fisheries scientist in the Northern Territory where he led a major initiative to develop a shark fishery off northern Australia. From there he joined the then Tasmanian Sea Fisheries Department and later the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute (TAFI), University of Tasmania. TAFI became part of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in 2010. He has worked on a wide variety of commercial fisheries, including offshore trawl, small pelagics and coastal fisheries, as well as conducting recreational fishing surveys over many years. The primary focus of his research has been to understand the impacts of fishing on target and non-target species and provide the science required to support the sustainable management of the fish stocks.
Professor Gretta Pecl

Professor Gretta Pecl

Gretta is a Professor of marine ecology. Her research includes detecting and understanding the mechanisms behind species range extensions, and population and fishery responses to environmental change. She was instrumental in the development of the citizen science model Redmap for ecological monitoring and community engagement.

Gretta is an ARC Future Fellow currently working with international colleagues on a Global Network of Marine Hotspots. She is internationally renowned for her innovative work on the biology and ecology of cephalopods. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, and the Director of the Centre for Marine Socioecology

Assoc Prof. Trevor Lewis

Trevor is an Associate Professor of analytical environmental Chemistry in the School of Natural Sciences. He teaches across two campuses (Launceston and Hobart) into chemistry and environmental chemistry. 

His contribution to teaching and research at higher degree level includes the supervision or co-supervision of 25 Honours, 3 Masters and 19 PhD students. 

His main research interests centre around the analysis and treatment of polluted waters and aquatic environments. He has strong research collaborations with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at Wollongong University and with Tasmanian and national industry.
Dr James Haddy

Dr James Haddy

Before joining the University of Tasmania, Dr James Haddy was a fisheries scientist for New South Wales Fisheries and Queensland's Department of Primary Industries.

James's area of expertise is in conducting field and laboratory based research on the population dynamics, life history ecology and physiology (reproduction and stress endocrinology) of aquatic fauna. The majority of his work has focused on important recreational and commercial species of fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

As a result, James has expertise in fisheries research and stock assessment modelling, from the initial collection of data (field biology) through to computer intensive quantitative modelling. Some of the key methodological techniques he has expertise in includes, fisheries field sampling, (gillnets, seines, traps, electro-fishing, fyke nets), hard-parts analysis (e.g. otoliths, scales, shells), reproductive analyses (macroscopic and histology), dietary analysis, tagging, and hormonal radioimmunoassays. Currently, James teaches undergraduate units covering aquatic biology, fisheries biology and population dynamics, fisheries assessment and field research techniques for aquatic ecosystems.

Chun Kit Ooi

(PhD Student)

Chun Kit is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is currently undertaking PhD studies at the University of Tasmania, specializing in Chemical Sciences. Chun Kit has previously completed his Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours degree and was awarded a First Class Honours from University of Tasmania.
Under the supervision of Dr. Trevor Lewis, Prof. Barbara Nowak, Assoc. Prof. Jeremy Lyle and Dr. James Haddy, his PhD study involves conducting research on the relationship between concentrations of heavy metals and the development of black spots on the normally white muscle of sand flathead originating from various parts of Tasmania. He and the team intend to identify the prevalence and intensity of melanised spots in different populations of flathead around Tasmania and investigate relationship of melanisation with fish biology, characterise melanin in flathead muscle, determine the levels of heavy metals in melanised and non-melanised fish muscle samples and identify whether a specific heavy metal, or other pollutant(s), is/are related to the development of melanisation in fish muscle.

Clayton Stocker

(Honours Student)

Clayton is an Honours Student at the University of Tasmania, completing a Bachelor of Marine and Antarctic Science with Honours. Clayton previously studied at the University of Newcastle, graduated with a degree in Environmental Science and Management with a double major in Marine Biology and Sustainable Resource Management. Under the supervision of Prof. Barbara Nowak and Dr. James Haddy, he is currently involved in the research of sand flathead melanisation. Specifically, studying the relationship between the presence of melanisation and the size of melano-macrophage centres in the internal organs. Secondly, investigating the relationship between the presence of melanisation and fish condition index, geographical location, age, sex and maturation stage. Lastly, he is also involved in a survey of the Tasmanian recreational fishing community, exploring their observations and experiences with melanisation in Sand Flathead. . 
If you've ever seen this in Sand Flathead or any other fish that you have caught around Tasmania
Let Us Know
fish icon at black fillet project
Research for the future of sustainable fishing in and around Tasmania