Dr Nick Gust

General Manager / Principal Scientist


 B.Sc. (1st class Hons) (Zoology) University of Melbourne 1992;

Ph.D. (Marine Ecology) James Cook University 2000;

ADAS Part 1 Diver


Nick is an experienced marine ecologist with a broad range of skills and expertise from working in diverse environments from the Antarctic to the Great Barrier Reef. His areas of expertise include the design and implementation of Invasive Marine Species (IMS) surveys, delimitation assessments, vessel inspections, reef fish and platypus ecology and human impact assessments.


Nick has a decade of study and research experience from prominent Australian universities, and another twelve years of experience in IMS research, consultancy and project management.


After a doctorate in Marine Biology at James Cook University Nick was employed as a marine biosecurity scientist by the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) where he led a wide range of biosecurity projects and field teams around New Zealand. These included  >40 baseline and monitoring surveys for IMS in ports and marinas at high risk of invasion.


Nick has a strong leadership background, excellent communication skills, and is experienced in the analysis and interpretation of ecological data. He has written and reviewed numerous papers and client reports and been successful in obtaining competitive research funding. Nick joined BFS in 2010 to work on a range of IMS desktop and field projects.


To date Nick has conducted inspections and coordinated cleaning operations of vessels in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Italy, Gibraltar, USA, The Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia.

Mobile +61 (0) 457 376 061

Areas of Specialist Expertise

  • IMS research and management

  • IMS baseline and delimitation surveys

  • Demographics and ecology of wild populations

  • Vessel inspections for IMS of concern

  • Project management

  • Scientific writing and client reporting

  • Coordination of field survey teams and scientific diving programs

  • Population ecology

  • Ecology of coral reef fishes

  • Epidemiology of aquatic diseases

Scholarships and Awards

  • Exceptional performance certificate from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research 2007

  • Young Australian Award from the Queens Trust presented at Government House, Queensland 1998

  • The Lizard Island Doctoral Fellowship from the Australian Museum 1998

  • Doctoral Merit Research Award from James Cook University 1998

  • Australian Postgraduate Award from the Commonwealth Government 1996-1999

  • Victorian runner up for the Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University 1994

  •  Tax Exemption Scholarship awarded by the office of research, Melbourne University 1992

Technical Qualifications

  • Maritime Security Identification Card. (Current)

  • Elements of shipboard safety and survival at sea couse, Fremantle. (February 2011)

  • Chevron’s Incident and Injury Free (IIF) Training , Perth. (February 2011)

  • Restricted Coxswain Certificate of Competency. (Current)

  • Commercial Diving Competencies (ADAS) - AS 2815.1 (Current)

  • Dive Medical Australian Standards (AS/NZS 2299.1:2007) (Current)

  • DAN Oxygen Provider (latest Issued Sept 2012)

  • Remote Areas First Aid Certificate – Level 2. (Red Cross)

  • Automatic External Defibrillation Certificate from St John’s Ambulance. (March 2009)

  • Marine VHF Radio Operators Certificate. (Current)

  • Driver’s License and Heavy Vehicle License. (Current)

  • Advanced and Defensive Driving Certificate (Current)

  • TAFE Tasmania Quad Bike Operator Certificate (Current)

  • Working safely at heights. RIIOHS204A  (Current)

  • Enter and work in confined spaces. RIIOHS202A (Current)

  • Attended invasive polychaete identification workshop, Australian Museum, Sydney, 1-2 August 2013

  • Participated in the Western Australia Department of Fisheries Biofouling Inspection Seminar, Marine Research Laboratories, Hillarys, 12-14 May, 2016.

Selected Publications


Scientific Publications

Furlan, E.M, Griffiths, J, Gust, N, Handasyde, K.A., Grant, T.R,Gruber, B, Weeks, A.R. (2013) Dispersal patterns and population structuring among platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, throughout south-eastern Australia Conservation Genetics. Issue and pages numbers pending.


Furlan, E.M, Griffiths J, Gust N, Armistead A.R, Mitrovski B.P, Handasyde,K.A Serena,M, Hoffmann A.A A and Weeks A. R. (2012) Is body size variation in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) associated with environmental variables? Australian Journal of Zoology, 59(4) 201-215


Gongora, J, Swan, A.B, Chong, A.Y, Ho, S.Y, Damayanti, CS, Kolomyjec, S, Grant, T, Miller, E, Blair,D , Furlan, E and Gust, N, (2012). Genetic structure and phylogeography of platypuses revealed by mitochondrial DNA. Journal of Zoology, Volume 286 (2) 110–119


Furlan, E., J. Stoklosa, Griffiths, J, Gust, N. Ellis, R. Huggins, R.M., Weeks, A.R. (2012). "Small population size and extremely low levels of genetic diversity in island populations of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus ". Ecology and Evolution, 2(4):844-57.


Geraghty, D. P., J. Griffiths, N. Stewart, IK Robertson and N. Gust (2011) "Hematologic, plasma biochemical, and other indicators of the health of Tasmanian platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus): predictors of mucormycosis." Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 47(3): 483-493


Gust, N. and J. Griffiths (2011). Body size, condition and population structure of Tasmanian platypuses: exploring potential mucormycosis impacts. Wildlife Research, 38(4): 271-289.


Furlan, E, Umina, P, Mitrovski, P, Gust, N, Griffiths, J, Weeks A. (2010) High levels of genetic divergence between Tasmanian and Victorian populations of platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, as revealed by microsatellite loci. Conservation Genetics, 11(1): 319-323


Gust, N, and Griffiths, J. (2009) Platypus mucormycosis and its conservation implications. Australasian Mycologist, 28, 1-8

of mucormycosis in Tasmanian platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Australian Journal of Zoology, 57: 245-254


Cole, R.; Davey, N.; Gust, N.; Notman, P.; Stewart, R.; Radford, C.; Carbines, G.; Carr, M.; Jeffs, A. (2007). Does breathing apparatus affect fish counts and observations? A comparison of three New Zealand fished and protected areas. Marine Biology, 150: 1379-1395.


Gust, N., and Inglis, G. (2006) Adaptive multi-scale sampling to determine an invasive crab’s habitat usage and range in New Zealand. Biological Invasions, 8(2): 339-353


Hodges, A.L, Munday, P.L, Choat. J.H and Gust, N. (2004) Sex specific growth effects in protogynous hermaphrodites. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 61:323-327


Gust, N. (2004) Life history and demographic shifts in protogynous coral reef fishes over tens of kilometres. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 61(2): 205-218


Inglis, G and Gust, N. (2003) Potential Indirect Effects of Shellfish Culture on the Reproductive Success of Benthic Predators. Journal of Applied Ecology, 40: 1077-1089


Smith PJ, Webber, W.R., McVeagh, S.M., Inglis, G.J., Gust, N. (2003) DNA and morphological identification of an invasive swimming crab, Charybdis japonica, in New Zealand waters. New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, 37(4) 753-762


Gust, N. (2002) Distribution and biomass of scarids: the influence of exposure, depth and habitat variables. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 64 (4): 353-366.

Gust, N, Choat, H, Ackerman, J. (2002) Demographic plasticity in tropical reef fishes. Marine Biology ,140: 1039-1051


Gust, N, Choat, H, McCormick, M. (2001) Spatial variability in reef fish distribution, abundance, size and biomass: a multi-scale analysis. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 214: 237-241


Pratchett, M, Gust, N, Goby, G., Klanten, S. (2001) Consumption of coral propagules represents a significant trophic link between corals and reef fish. Coral Reefs. 20: 13-17


Dudgeon, C, Gust, N, Blair, D. (2000) Demographic and life-history differences in reef fishes across the continental shelf of the G.B.R apparently lack a genetic basis. Marine Biology, 137 (5/6) 1059-66.


Gust, N.,Handasyde, K. (1995) Seasonal variation in the ranging behaviour of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), on the Goulburn River, Victoria. Australian Journal of Zoology, 43: 193- 208

Management Plans

Gust, N, Griffiths, J. (2010) Tasmanian Platypus Management Plan. Report to Australian Government. Department of Primary Industries, Parks Water and Environment. 50pgs


Gust, N, Inglis G, Floerl O, Peacock L, Denny C, Forrest B. 2008.Assessement of population management options for Styela clava. MAF Biosecurity New Zealand Technical Paper No: 2009/04. 177 pgs.

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