Professor Scott Cummins | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Professor Scott Cummins

PhD Deakin University, BSc Deakin University

  • Professor, Molecular Biology
+61 7 5456 5501
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Scott Cummins


Scott’s research interests are focused on the molecular basis for chemical communication in various experimental organisms, with applications in the fields of ecology, aquaculture and health. Scott was awarded his PhD from Deakin University in Molecular Biology, then undertook postdoctoral research at The University of Texas Medical Branch and The University of Queensland. From 2012, Scott established the USC Molecular Communication group, who utilise various multi-omics approaches towards elucidation of:

  • Neuropeptides that regulate changes in an animal’s physiology, including development, reproduction and regeneration;
  • Protein toxins used for defence and prey capture;
  • Protein pheromones used for conspecific communication, including attraction and aversion;
  • Water-borne protein kairomones used for parasite host detection;
  • Enzymes involved in small molecular natural product biosynthesis.

The research often integrates genomics, transcriptomics, proteomic and metabolomics through the latest next-generation sequencing and mass spectrometry approaches. Organisms under investigation include marine sponges, jellyfish, myxozoans, flatworms, molluscs (e.g. abalone, oyster, land snail, freshwater snail, giant triton snail), crustaceans, starfish, sea cucumber, marine macroalgae and plants.

Read more details of these research investigations *

* This is an external website and USC is not responsible for the content.

Research grants (2012 to 2020)

Project Name Funding Body
Harnessing seaweed genes to mitigate methane emissions from livestock Australian Research Council – Discovery Project
Decoding the molecular components of aquatic parasite-host interactions Australian Research Council – Discovery Project
Investigating hypometabolism to reveal critical factors that aid life extension Australian Research Council – Discovery Project
Origin of genomically-encoded communication in animals: deciphering the role of peptide signalling in the sea sponge Amphimedon queenslandica Australian Research Council – Discovery Project
Decoding the rules of fate, attraction and cell migration in perciform fish Australian Research Council – Future Fellowship
Deep protein sequencing, structure and quantification facility
Australian Research Council – LIEF
Small angle X-ray scattering facility for Queensland
Australian Research Council – LIEF
Regional nuclear magnetic resonance infrastructure network for South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales Australian Research Council – LIEF
Overcoming membrane protein research roadblocks: A Queensland facility for membrane protein production and crystallisation
Australian Research Council – LIEF
Enhancement of high-value sea cucumber production through novel molecular technologies Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants
Feasibility of a breeding program for the giant triton sea snail (Charonia tritonis) Australian Institute of Marine Sciences - Reef2050
The bioactivity and functionality of the molecular and microbial components of snail mucus
Grains Research Development Corporation - Research and Development Program
Stomach turning - the extra-oral feeding behaviour of starfish
Luverhulme Trust
Crown-of-thorns seastar pheromones

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, POC

Pearl oyster stress


The crown-of-thorns secretome: towards a control technology

Caring for Country Reef Rescue

Harnessing molluscan neurohormones to develop new molluscicides

Grains Research Development Corporation Research Projects

Research areas

  • Molecular neuroethology
  • Protein pheromones
  • Neuropeptides
  • Functional genomics
  • Invertebrate biology
  • Invasive species

Teaching areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biotechnology
  • Biodiversity and Ecology
  • Invertebrate Ecology
  • Aquaculture Biotechnology

Scott's specialist areas of knowledge include, molecular biology, biotechnology, aquaculture, pheromones, and peptide signalling.

More UniSC experts...