Joanna Browne

PhD Student, Marine Sciences

Jo Browne and jellyfish
Jo Browne and jellyfish
Image: Mark Norman
Source: MV

Supervisor: Mark Norman


Joanna Browne studied interactions between a jellyfish and plankton at the University of Sydney for her honours degree. This led to a work as a research assistant on a project studying jellyfish, plankton and nutrients in Lake Illawarra. A stint as an environmental consultant was followed by a move to coastal Victoria, where she worked as a research assistant at Museum Victoria. Projects she has been involved in at the museum include checking for introduced marine species and time in the lab and at sea on the Southern Surveyor investigating the biogeography of the Western Australia coastal margin.

She began her PhD in 2008, interested in studying the jellyfish of Port Phillip Bay, under the supervision of Dr Mark Norman (Museum Victoria), Dr Kylie Pitt (Griffith University) and Professor Rod Connolly (Griffith University). During a trip to Lizard Island as part of the CReefs project (, she discovered parasitic worms living in jellyfish. This focused her PhD to investigate the parasites of jellyfish along the east coast of Australia. She is collaborating with Associate Professor Tom Cribb in several studies on trematode parasites that use jellyfish as hosts.

Joanna was awarded Best student oral presentation at the Third International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium 2010.

Current activities

Jellyfish are increasing in regions around the world, yet little is known about their parasites, and the effects increases may have on the jellyfish and the marine environment. Joanna Browne is investigating jellyfish parasites for her PhD, using field sampling, DNA sequencing and laboratory work to examine:
  • Biodiversity of trematode parasites of jellyfish on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Molecular identification of two lepocreadiid trematodes from jellyfish
  • Spatial variation of parasites of the "upside-down" jellyfish Cassiopea sp. in Queensland, Australia
  • Temporal variation in parasites of the jellyfish Catostylus mosaicus in Port Phillip Bay: isopods, amphipods and anemones

Last updated 28 November 2011