Professor Iain Suthers
Deputy Director, Research
Field of Research: 
Oceanography, fish, fisheries, estuaries, plankton, salps, eddies
Contact details:
+ 61 2 9385 2065
Room 4113, Level 4
Biological Sciences South (E26)

UNSW, Kensington 2052


Research & Current Projects 

My research interests include the early life history of fish, plankton particle size and the relationships with oceanographic variability.  I have also been involved in the study of home range, age and reproduction of a temperate reef fish and coral reef fish, the protection of MPAs for pelagic fish, and the responsible re-stocking of NSW estuaries with mulloway.  I am supervising six graduate students (three of whom are APA(I), and I have supervised to graduation 10 PhD students and over 30 honours students over the past 13 years.  I teach a third year fisheries and oceanography course, coordinate the honours program.  I collaborate with Jason Middleton and Mark Baird in School of Maths, and with the Australian Museum, the New South Wales Fisheries department, the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the Canada Department of Fisheries & Oceans.

Research Students


Steph Brodie (PhD candidate)
Ruan Gannon (PhD candidate)
Ben Harris (PhD candidate)(Joint supervision with Dr Jock Young)
Natasha Henschke (PhD candidate)
Krystle Keller (PhD candidate)
Teagan Marzullo (PhD candidate)
Chris Setio (PhD candidate)
Jerom Stocks (PhD candidate)
Dylan Van Der Meulen (PhD candidate)(Joint Supervision with Dr Matt Taylor)
Caitlin Kesby (Masters candidate) (Joint supervision with Dr Doug Rotherham)
Faith Ochwada (PhD)
Liz Heagney (PhD)
Molly Scott (Honours)
Emma Tang (Honours)


BIOS3081 Occean to Estuarine Ecosystems

BIOS2031 Biology of Invertebrates

BEES4511 Professional Skills
MSc Environmental Management - Fundamental Knowledge, Ecology




Suthers IM and D Rissik 2009.  'Plankton for Natural Resource Managers: a guide to the ecology and observation' is now accepted by CSIRO Publishing, for publication in June 2009 (RRP $49).  9 chapters, 270 pp.
Primary Publications for past 5 years (Students, Post Docs, Research Associates, Assistants with my supervision and funding are underlined)
Ochwada F, NR Loneragan, CA Gray, IM Suthers, MD Taylor . 2009. Complexity affects habitat preference and predation mortality in postlarval Penaeus plebejus: implications for stock enhancement. Accepted.
Pursche AR, Suthers IM, Taylor MD. 2009.  Tethering induces increased stress artefacts in social fish species. Journal of Fish Biology, Accepted 23 Feb09.
Fowler, AM, JM Leis, IM Suthers.  On-offshore distribution and abundance of tuna larvae (Pisces: Scombridae: Thunnini) in near-reef waters of the Coral Sea.  US Fish. Bull.  US Fish. Bulletin 106: 405-416.
Baird, ME, PG Timko, JH Middleton, TJ Mullaney, DR Cox and IM Suthers. Biological properties across the Tasman Front off southeast Australia.  Deep Sea Research I.  Deep Sea Research I 55: 1438-1455.
PiolaR, D Rissik, IM Suthers.  2008.  Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis indicates freshwater shrimp Paratya australiensis Kemp, 1917 (Atyidae) assimilate cyanobacterial accumulations.  Hydrobiologia  608: 121-132. 
Dela Cruz, J, JH Middleton and IM Suthers.  2008.  The influence of upwelling, coastal currents and water temperature on the distribution of the red tide dinoflagellate, Noctiluca scintillans, along the east coast of Australia. Hydrobiologia 598: 59-75.
Taylor MD, and IM Suthers.  2008.  A predatory impact model and targeted stocking approach for optimal stocking of mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus). Reviews in Fisheries Science 16: 125-134.
Heagney EC, TP Lynch, RC Babcock and IM Suthers.  2007.  Pelagic fish assemblages and habitat in Lord Howe Island Marine Park assessed using mid-water baited video and current speed.  Marine Ecology Progress Series.  350:245-254.
Everett, JD, ME Baird and IM Suthers 2007 Nutrient and plankton dynamics in an intermittently closed/open lagoon, Smiths Lake, south-eastern Australia: an ecological model. Est. Coast. Shelf. Sci. 72:690-702.
Baird, ME and IM Suthers 2007 A size-resolved pelagic ecosystem model. Ecol. Model. 203: 185-203.
Taylor MD, S Laffan, IM Suthers and DS Fielder. 2006.  Key habitat and home range of mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus) in a south-east Australian estuary: Finding the estuarine niche to optimise stocking.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 328: 237-247.
Taylor MD, DS Fielder and IM Suthers. 2006.  Spatial and ontogenetic variation in the diet of wild and stocked mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus, Sciaenidae) in Australian estuaries. Estuaries and Coasts 29: 785-793.
Caldarone EM, CM Clemmesen, E Berdalet, TJ Miller, A Folkvord, GJ Holt, MP Olivar MP, IM Suthers.  2006.  Intercalibration of four spectrofluorometric protocols for measuring RNA/DNA ratios in larval and juvenile fish.  Limnology & Oceanography Methods 4: 153-163.
Suthers IM, Taggart CT, Rissik D, Baird ME.  2006.  Day and night ichthyoplankton assemblages and the zooplankton biomass size spectrum in a deep ocean island wake.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 322: 225-238.
Moore SK, ME Baird and IM Suthers  2006. Relative impacts of physical and biological processes on nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics in a shallow estuary after a storm event..  Estuaries & Coasts 29: 81-95.
Moore, SK and IM Suthers.  2006.  Evaluation and correction of subresolved particles by the optical plankton counter in three Australian estuaries with pristine to highly modified catchments.  Journal of Geophysical Research 111, C05S04, doi:10.1029/2005JC002920.
Baird, M. E., P. G. Timko, I. M. Suthers and J. H. Middleton (2006)  Coupled physical-biological modelling study of the East Australian Current with idealised wind forcing. Part I: Biological model intercomparison. J. Mar. Sys. 59: 249-270.
Baird, M. E., P. G. Timko, I. M. Suthers and J. H. Middleton (2006)  Coupled physical-biological modelling study of the East Australian Current with idealised wind forcing: Part II: Biological dynamical analysis. J. Mar. Sys. 59: 271-291.
Uehara, S., CT Taggart, T. Mitani and IM Suthers.  2006. The abundance of juvenile yellowtail (Seriola quinqueradiata) near the Kuroshio Current: the roles of drifting sargassum and regional hydrography.  Fisheries Oceanography, 15: 351-362.
Piola, R, S Moore and IM Suthers. 2006 Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis of three types of oyster tissue in an impacted estuary.  Estuarine Coastal Shelf Science 66: 255-266.
Moore, S. and IM Suthers.  2005.  Can the nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes of the pygmy mussel, Xenostrobus securis, indicate catchment disturbance for estuaries in northern New South Wales, Australia?  Estuaries 28:714-725.
Taylor MD, PJ Palmer, DS Fielder, IM Suthers.  2005 Responsible estuarine finfish stock enhancement: an Australian perspective.  J. Fish Biology 67: 299-331.
Begg, GA, SE Campana, AJ Fowler and IM Suthers.  2005.  Otolith research and application: current directions in innovation and implementation.  Marine and Freshwater Research 56: 477-483.
Uehara, S, A Syahailatua and IM Suthers. 2005  The 15N and 13C signatures of faster growing larval pilchards, Sardinops sagax: contrasting effects of upwelling by the East Australian Current.  Marine & Freshwater Research 56: 549-560.
Taylor, M, S Fielder and IM Suthers. 2005  Batch marking of otoliths and fin spines to assess the stock enhancement of mulloway, Argyrosomus japonicus(Temminck & Schlegel, 1844) using a novel technique.  J. Fish Biology 66: 1149-1162.
Gaston, TF, A Kostoglidos and IM Suthers.  2004.  The 13C, 15N and 34S signature of a rocky reef planktivorous fish does indicate different coastal discharges of sewage.  Mar. Freshw. Res. 55: 689-699.
Baird, ME, PR Oke, IM Suthers and JH Middleton. 2004.  A plankton population model with bio-mechanical descriptions of biological processes in an idealized 2-D ocean basin.  Journal of Marine Systems 50: 199-222.
Lowry, M and IM Suthers.  2004. Population structure of aggregations and response to spear fishing of a large temperate reef fish, Cheilodactylus fuscus. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Series, 273: 199-210.
Gaston, TF and IM Suthers.  2004.  Spatial variation in 13C and 15N of liver, muscle and bone in a rocky reef planktivorous fish: the relative contribution of sewage.  J. Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology 304: 17-33.
Suthers, IM, D Kelley, CT Taggart, JH Middleton and D Rissik.  2004.  Entrainment and advection in an islands tidal wake, as revealed by light attenuance, zooplankton, and ichthyoplankton. Limnology and Oceanography 49: 283-296.