Research Director, AIMS@JCU
Project Leader, AIMS Bioresources Library
Project Manager, Palm Island Desalination Impact Study
1994-Present [AIMS]: Leadership role in projects including biodiscovery research, sponge research, access and benefit sharing policy, contract management, project management.

1988-1994: Research Scientist/co-owner, Port Lihou Research, Torres Strait. Consultancy undertaking marine research in Torres Strait, including the Torres Strait Baseline Study (heavy metals in sediments, biota, and fisheries species), Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery, Seagrass Research, Pearlshell Stock assessment, Benthic Survey, and Sponge survey at Cocos Keeling and Christmas Islands (Indian Ocean).

1984-1988: Research assistant and experimental scientist positions, supporting research in reef spong biology, natural product chemistry and chemical ecology.
  • 1984 Bachelor of Science, Marine Biology Major, JCU, Townsville.
Current Research Activities
I have enjoyed a 30 year diverse marine science career blending the doing of marine research with policy development, science uptake and commercialisation, stakeholder engagement and collaboration, and research management. I am currently leading the strategic alliance AIMS@JCU, and project managing collaborative multi-disciplinary projects including the Palm Island desalination impact assessment project.
Expert Committees and Boards
  • ABRS Advisory Committee, 2011-13
  • Australian Biodiscovery Industry Panel, 2007-14
  • Int. Advisory Committee (ABS), Swiss Government, 2003-08
  • Australian Government Delegate: UNICPOLOS, UN Gen Assembly (New York), 2007; Convention on Biological Diversity 2003
  • Ministerial appointment to Expert Reference Group, National Inquiry into Access to Biological Resources in Commonwealth Areas (Australia), 2000
  • CBD Secretariat's Panel of Experts on Access and Benefit Sharing, Costa Rica 1999
Over 40 science and technical papers in international journals. The following are a selection of recent publications.

Luter HM, Duckworth AR, Wolff CW, Evans-Illidge E, Whalan S (2016) Recruitment variability of coral reef sessile communities of the far north Great Barrier Reef. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0153184

Andreakis N, Høj L, Kearns P, Hall MR, Ericson G, Cobb RE, Gordon B, Evans-Illidge EA (2015) Diversity of marine-derived fungal cultures exposed by DNA barcodes: The algorithm matters. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0136130

Evans-Illidge L, Lawrey E, Tonin H, Luter H, Miller I, Emslie M, Steinberg C, Johns K, Brinkman R (2015) Preliminary baseline knowledge to support a first-stage marine-environmental assessment of proposed in-sea desalination pipeline infrastructure at Great Palm Island (Bwgcolman), Queensland. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville (70pp)

Evans-Illidge EA, Logan M, Doyle J, Fromont J, Battershill CN, Ericson G, Wolff CW, Muirhead A, Burton G, Evans-Illidge EA (2014) Emerging R and D Law: The Nagoya Protocol and its implications for researchers. ACS Chemical Biology 9(3): 588-591

Kearns P, Abdo D, Kininmonth S, Llewellyn L (2013) Phylogeny drives large scale patterns in Australian marine bioactivity and provides a new chemical ecology rationale for future biodiscovery. PLoS ONE 8(9): e73800

Webster NS, Cobb RE, Soo R, Anthony SL, Battershill CN, Whalan S, Evans-Illidge EA (2011) Bacterial community dynamics in the marine sponge Rhopaloeides odorabile under in situ and ex situ cultivation. Marine Biotechnology 13: 296-304

Duckworth AR, Wolff CWW, Evans-Illidge EA (2009) Farming bath sponges in tropical Australia. World Aquaculture 40: 20-22, 70.

Mukherjee J, Llewellyn LE, Evans-Illidge EA (2008) A tropical marine microbial natural products geobibliography as an example of desktop exploration of current research using web visualisation tools. Marine Drugs 6: 550-577

Evans-Illidge EA, Battershill CN (2007) Marine natural products discovery in Australia: From reef to royalty, and the pursuit of Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) compliance. Journal of Biolaw & Business Spec Suppl:23-27

Evans-Illidge EA, Webster NS, Duckworth AR, Louden DJ, Whalan S, Bannister R, Brinkman RM, Wolff CWW, de Nys R and Battershill CN (2006) Palm Island Sponge Aquaculture Science - a compilation of relevant reviews and research conducted at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, James Cook University, and AIMS@JCU. Australian Institute of Marine Science (81 p)

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