Level 4 East Biological Sciences South (E26) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Prof. Iain Suthers


Iain Suthers is a Professor in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales and is partly based in Building 19 at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. He completed his PhD in Canada and post-doctoral work in Norway as well as back home in Australia before taking up a lectureship at UNSW in 1991.  He leads the FAMER lab with Dr Jason Everett and Dr Hayden Schilling.

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Iain Suthers explores the basis and sustainability of estuarine and coastal ecosystems. His discoveries in the past 5 years concern the effect of the East Australian Current on eddies, zooplankton and larval fish, and the effect on fisheries and physiology of key ecosystem fishes. Iain has published over 160 papers and book chapters on estuarine ecology and fisheries oceanography (including a recent 2019 book on plankton).

  • the re-stocking of young fish, crabs or prawns in estuaries (FRDC with Dr Matt Taylor, DPI-fisheries);
  • the planktonic ecosystem contribution to temperate rocky reefs and design-specific artificial reefs (e.g. Champion et al. 2014);
  • the biological significance of salps and krill in the western Tasman Sea (e.g. Henschke et al. 2016; 2019);
  • the biological significance of the East Australian Current (EAC) and its eddies (e.g. Suthers et al. 2011; Everett et al. 2015).

His research on the separation of the EAC from the coast off Port Stephens reveals a key region influencing NSW’s climate and fisheries. Since 2014 Suthers has led 4 research voyages on Australia’s brand new RV Investigator into the EAC and Tasman Front, and led the installation of the Newcastle CODAR to explore the enigmatic eddies of the EAC. Iain was leader of the NSW node of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (from 2007-2011), and with his colleague Prof Moninya Roughan he has been one of the major drivers in the remarkable development of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science .  Iain leads the IMOS-Larval Fish Monitoring, a sub-facility of the IMOS moorings, to determine the seasonal variability of over 200 larval fish taxa at 5 National Reference Stations (off Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth).

He is chair of the SeaWorld Research and Rescue Foundation