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Staff research interests

The School of Veterinary and Life Sciences offers exciting research opportunities in a diverse and wide selection of fields including Environmental Science, Biological Sciences, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Check our staff research interests below:

Dr Sam Abraham
Antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella and coagulase positive staphylococci (MRSA & MRSP); antimicrobial resistance surveillance; bacterial and antimicrobial resistance typing using whole genome sequencing and other molecular techniques; discovery of new antimicrobials and anti-parasitics.

Dr Peter Adams
Feral species; control and management; wildlife conservation; disease status; impacts; environmental health.

Dr Joshua Aleri
All aspects of Cattle health & welfare; Epidemiology and disease control, the one health approach and veterinary education. With a special focus in the following areas: 1. Bovine health & welfare 2. Population medicine and disease epidemiology 3. Investigation and control of infectious and production diseases of farm animals 4. Calf health and welfare 5. Transition cow management 6. Cattle mastitis and reproduction 7. Zoonotic’s and disease eradication programs.

Associate Professor John Bailey
The environmental impact assessment of government policies as an extension of the EIA of development projects and plans; environmental policy and law; relating legal instruments and the legal process to the science of environmental management.

Associate Professor Anne Barnes
Animal reproduction; thermal and appetite physiology; animal behaviour; endurance horses.

Dr Catherine Baudains
Environmental education and behavioural change

Dr Kirsty Bayliss
Plant pathology; plant biosecurity.

Professor Lynnath Beckley
Biological oceanography (especially ichthyoplankton); fisheries biology; coastal zone management; assessment of marine resource use; marine protected areas and marine ecology.

Professor Lars Bejder
Whale and dolphin conservation biology/conservation; animal social structure; evaluating anthropogentic impacts on cetaceans.

Professor Richard Bell
Land rehabilitation; plant nutrition, soil fertility and nutrient cycling; land and catchment management, rehabilitation and restoration of remnant vegetation.

Professor Cassandra Berry
Vaccines; B cell responses; virus-specific antibodies; influenza; antibody-mediated protection; interferons; infectious diseases.

Emeritus Professor Michael Borowitzka
Algal biotechnology;biofuels; intertidal and benthic ecology; algal blooms; symbiosis; algal physiology and ecology; coral reef ecology.

Dr Barbara Bowen
Response of plants and plant communities to fire; effect of ecosystem disturbance on plant/animal interactions; plant anatomy and histology.

Dr Kate Bryant
Population and breeding ecology of terrestrial vertebrates; ecological genetics; evolution of life histories and mating systems of animals.

Associate Professor Treena Burgess
Fungal population genetics; molecular taxonomy; biosecurity; biology, pathology and control of woody plant pathogens; plant-microbe interactions; health of plantations and natural ecosystems; ectomycorrhiza and plant nutrition; histology.

Associate Professor Mandy Burrows
Feline allergic dermatitis; feline rush immunotherapy; feline pemphigus foliaceus.

Associate Professor Martin Cake
Connective tissue biology (bone and cartilage), especially hormonal influences and nitric oxide; animal models of osteoarthritis and other orthopaedic disorders; pharmaceutical interventions in osteoarthritis and other orthopaedic disorders; indices and influences of skeletal development; causes of small animal development orthopaedic and connective tissue disorders.

Associate Professor Max Cake
Molecular mechanisms of hormone action and the role of hormones and growth factors in the biochemical development of the respiratory system.

Associate Professor Michael Calver
Ecology and ethology of predation (vertebrate and invertebrate); immunological methods of studying animal diets.

Dr Jane Chambers
Wetland ecology and rehabilitation: aquatic plants; wetland creation; nutrient dynamics; wetland management.

Dr Jennie Chaplin
Evolutionary biology and population genetics: in particular using molecular genetic markers to study the life-history strategies; population structures and phylogeography of fishes and invertebrates.

Mr Brendan Chapman
Forensic genetics; metagenomics; bioinformatics; low-copy number DNA analysis; microsatellites; massively parallel sequencing; mitochondrial genome sequencing; SNPs; molecular probes and capture arrays; DNA phenotyping; DNA intelligence techniques; clandestine grave recovery.

Associate Professor Helen Chapman
The provision of consultancy services to sheep farmers as well as individual small ruminant and flock medicine.

Dr Melissa Claus
Leukoreduction of blood products; febrile non-hemolytic transfusion reactions; systemic inflammatory response syndrome; hemorrhagic shock.

Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch
Industrial and environmental microbiology; development and optimisation of industrial processes; process modelling; biofuels; bioremediation; biological waste and water processing.

Dr Teresa Collins
Animal welfare; human animal relationship; companion animal management; using behaviour to assess animal welfare; veterinary education.

Dr Jim Cummins
Fertility and infertility; evolution and comparative aspects of sperm form and function in mammals; ethics of reproductive biotechnology; mitochondrial DNA, its inheritance and role in fertility and infertility.

Dr Andrew Currie
Innate immunity; infectious disease; newborn immunology; preterm infants; toll-like receptors; tumour immunology; vaccine science.

Professor Bernie Dell
Nutrition of food, feed, fibre and bio-energy crops; tree health; urban forestry; reforestation; carbon sequestration; mycorrhizal technology; edible fungi.

Professor Neal Enright
Ecology and management of fire-prone ecosystems; Restoration of plant communities to post-mined landscapes. High biodiversity shrublands of SW Australia. Ecophysiology, molecular ecology and simulation modelling. Population ecology of conifers and palms.

Dr Sarah Etherington
Synaptic transmission;synaptic plasticity; visual cortex; neuromuscular junction; patch clamp electrophysiology.

Dr Joe Fontaine
My research interests lie in the investigation of the effects of disturbance, primarily fire and urbanisation, on a range of taxa including both plants and animals. In general I use field-based ecological data to address these questions. Much of my work is in collaboration with other members of the Terrestrial Ecology Research Group (Prof Neal Enright, Dr Phil Ladd, Dr Jane Chambers, and others).

Research effort for me is driven by posing questions that are both management relevant and of ecological interest. Application of science to real-world management issues is extremely important and we must strive to do this as we also further our understanding of how ecosystems function in response to a range of disturbances.

Emeritus Professor Stan Fenwick
Epidemiology of foodborne and zoonotic diseases, including animal reservoirs of infection and environmental dissemination of pathogens; development of rapid methods for detection and differentiation of zoonotic and foodborne bacterial pathogens, including PCR, molecular probes, ELISA; molecular typing of human and animal pathogens using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; disease control strategies, including vaccine development; HACCP in food-producing industries.

Associate Professor Trish Fleming
Much of my research focuses on applied ecology, where improving our understanding of the physiology and behaviour of vertebrates has conservation or welfare implications.

Dr Graham Gardner
The impact of selection for growth, leanness and muscling within the sheep and cattle industries, looking at aspects of carbohydrate and intermediary metabolism, stress sensitivity, and growth and maturity, as well as the metabolic changes that take place in muscle.

Dr Howard Gill
Taxonomy and systematics of fishes; biology of estuarine and native freshwater fishes; larval development, and ontogenetic and seasonal changes in the diet of fishes.

Associate Professor Mark Glyde
Main research interests are in fracture and implant biomechanics particularly minimally invasive fracture repair.

Associate Professor Wayne Greene
Molecular genetics; lymphocytic tumours (lymphoblastic leukaemia, lymphoma); transposable DNA elements and evolution; gene expression.

Dr Ihab Habib
Public health and food safety (epidemiology of microbial hazards from farm-to-fork); ecology of Campylobacter and Salmonella in food of animal origin; quantitative risk assessment/modelling of zoonoses of significant public health importance; One Health approach to animal diseases and zoonoses management in developing countries (e.g. Campylobacter in Egypt; Brucella, Toxoplasma, Salmonella, and Echinococcosis in Iraq; FMD in Afghanistan.

Professor David Hampson
Veterinary and medical bacteriology; enteric infections; molecular epidemiology; alternatives to antibiotics; vaccines.

Professor Giles Hardy
Biology, pathology, taxonomy and control of woody plant pathogens in managed and natural ecosystems; interactions of climate change and plant diseases; Phytophthora diseases and their impact on ecosystems; plant-microbe interactions; mycorrhizal fungi; insect-fungal interactions; health and function of plantation and natural ecosystems.

Professor John Howieson
Rhizobial ecology; legume nodulation; agricultural systems.

Dr John Huisman
Taxonomy and systematics of marine macroalgae, particularly of tropical regions; introduced marine plants.

Professor Giselle Hosgood
Clinical research study design and analysis.

Dr Tim Hyndman
Veterinary Pharmacology; reptiles and reptilian infectious diseases; diagnostic testing for infectious diseases.

Associate Professor Pete Irons
Veterinary education; canine, domestic ruminant and wildlife reproduction; assisted reproduction technologies.

Professor Peter Irwin
Tropical infectious and parasitic diseases of companion animals, particularly babesiosis and ehrlichiosis.

Dr Caroline Jacobson
Sheep, Parasites, Production.

Professor Mike Jones
Plant biotechnology in agriculture; genetic modification of plants; genetic modification of food; plant molecular biology; molecular plant pathology (viruses, nematodes, fungi); marker assisted breeding; molecular diagnostics.

Dr Jatin Kala
Land-atmosphere interactions; regional climate modelling; boundary-layer meteorology; land surface model development; air-pollution meteorology.

Dr Khama Kelman
Lamb growth modelling using frequentist and Bayesian approaches; muscle oxidative capacity; sheep meat quality.

Dr Halina Kobryn
Applications of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing in environmental science and natural resource management; environmental monitoring, especially change detection techniques using GIS and remote sensing; land use changes and their effects on properties of stormwater; shore and coastal erosion.

Dr Philip Ladd
Plant community ecology, population biology and pollination ecology; palaeobotany - mainly palynology past vegetation history; paleaoclimates based on vegetation reconstruction.

Dr Michael Laurence
Maternal productivity in beef cattle; beef cattle production and health; ovine keratoconjunctivitis; post surgical pain mitigation in beef cattle; welfare and live export.

Prof Chengdao Li
Cereal Genomics, functional geneomics and comparative genomics; cereal molecular genetics; crop breeding technologies; cereal abiotic stress tolerances to acid soils, drought, salinity, heat and waterlogging; barley malting quality; plant phenology.

Dr Susannah Lillis
Clinical veterinary diagnostic imaging, education, effective delivery of diagnostic imaging education to veterinary students.

Professor Neil Loneragan
Fisheries ecology; dynamics of invertebrate fisheries (particularly prawns); relationships between coastal habitats and fisheries. production; stock enhancement of marine invertebrates and fish. Marine biodiversity and conservation planning.

Associate Professor Alan Lymbery
The genetics, ecology and diseases of aquatic organisms.

Emeritus Professor Thomas Lyons
Air-surface interaction; applied boundary-layer meteorology, air pollution.

Dr Bin Ma
Neurodegeneration; neuroimmunology; innate immunity; bioengineering.

Dr Paola Magni
Forensic entomology – PMI, ecology, entomotoxicology, archaeoentomology, insect and human molecular biology, hyperspectral imaging; Aquatics forensics – PMSI, limnology, botany, malacology, malacostracology.

Dr Garth Maker
Using metabolomics and mass spectrometry to study pharmacology and toxicology at a cellular level; develop new techniques for the diagnosis and monitoring of chronic disease.

Emerita Professor Jen McComb
Plant cell, organ and tissue culture of woody Australian species; breeding systems, salt tolerance and disease resistance of Eucalyptus; physiology of parasitic plants.

Emeritus Professor Robert Mead

Biology and biochemistry of fluoroacetate and other fluorinated pesticides; plant secondary compounds and plant/animal interactions; biochemistry of disease states, including molecular biological studies of prostate and breast cancer and of coronary heart disease in association with affiliated hospital research teams.

Associate Professor David Miller
The physiology and environmental control of reproduction, appetite and body weight regulation in domesticated animals, with specific research interests including: 1) inappropriate energy balance and infertility; 2) effects of nutrition on early life programming; 3) endocrine and paracrine regulators of growth and function of cells, tissues and organs.

Dr Jennifer Mills
Clinical pathology, leukocyte function, immune-mediated disease, flow cytometry; professional clinical communication, human-animal bond, veterinary-client relationship.

Dr Navid Moheimani
Microalgae bioprospecting for biofuel production; microalgae growth optimising (reliability of growth and limits to growth of microalgae); novel methodologies for increasing microalgae productivity; studying physiology of microalgae; CO2 bioremediation; microbiological induced corrosion (MIC).

Associate Professor David Morgan
Ecology of inland fishes of Western Australia; impacts of introduced fishes; fishways; salinisation; threatened fishes.

Dr Angus Morrison-Saunders
The effectiveness of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); specific interests include EIA audits, utility of environmental monitoring and management programmes, and the role of science in EIA.

Dr Martina Mosing
Lung ventilation during anaesthesia in horses and small animals;controlled mechanical ventilation; continuous positive pressure ventilation in small animals and horses; monitoring of ventilation during anaesthesia; physiologic pulmonary dead space; neuromuscular blocking agents and reversal of neuromuscular block; monitoring of neuromuscular block.

Emeritus Professor Francis Murray
Air pollution effects on ecosystems and plants; environmental indicators; allergens in air.

Dr Gabby Musk
Research interests including pain assessment and management in ruminants, respiratory physiology and anaesthetic related complications.

Dr Mark Newman
Bone biology; fracture biomechanics; orthopaedic implants.

Associate Professor David Newsome
Ecotourism embracing environmental impacts and sustainability of tourism in national parks and nature reserves; biological and physical impacts of recreation and nature based tourism; land management including pedology, land capability and geomorphology.

Associate Professor Philip Nicholls
Papillomavirus; pathology; aquatic health; diagnostic pathology.

Dr Philip O’Brien
Development of molecular tests for detection of microbial pathogens; the mechanisms of host plant infection by Phytophthora; the mechanism of phosphite induced resistance of host plants to infection by Phytophthora; molecular profiling of soil microbial communities.

Dr Mark O'Dea
Characterisation of Australian bat lyssavirus in WA; next generation sequencing of viral pathogens; respiratory disease in bobtail lizards; viral diseases of pigs; avian influenza.

Dr Graham O’Hara
Soil microbiology; biological nitrogen fixation; microbial ecology; physiology and genetics of Rhizobium.

Associate Professor Mandy O'Hara
Anatomic pathology; veterinary dermatopathology; animal models of human disease; disease surveillance and phenotypic analysis of laboratory animals.

Professor David Pethick
Carbohydrate and fat metabolism in sheep; cattle and horses with a special interest in the biochemistry of exercise.

Dr Charlotte Oskam
Molecular characterisation of tick-borne pathogens; next generation sequencing of bacterial pathogens; bacterial microbiome; ancient DNA; palaeomicrobiology.

Emeritus Professor Ian Potter
Ecology of marine, estuarine and freshwater fish; the biology of lampreys including their life-cycles, ecology, phylogeny, cytogenetics and respiratory physiology.

Professor John Pluske
Sympathetic nervous system; hypertension; phaeochromocytoma; catecholamines; neuroreceptors and transmitters.

Dr Anthea Raisis
Effects of anaesthesia on cardiovascular function in small animals and horses; acute kidney injury anaesthesia: risk factors and methods of diagnosis; anaesthesia of critically ill animals; assessment of different techniques for measuring cardiovascular function during anaesthesia.

Dr Wayne Reeve
Prokaryote genetics, molecular biology and physiology; genomics and proteomics; signal perception and transduction; stress response and virulence; biological nitrogen fixation.

Professor Yonglin Ren
Insect chemical ecology, biology and resistance to chemicals. More effective ways to manage phosphine to control insect pests in grain storage. Dispersal of chemicals and their efficacy in large storage bins. Exploration of novel non chemical method for control of stored product insect pests and management of phosphine resistance. The development of innovative, rapid and accurate diagnostic tools for insects, nematodes and pathogens. How to manage risk and assess risk from continued use of chemicals and from potential new incursions of exotic organisms. The role of volatiles in understanding and manipulating plant/pest/microbe interactions with the aim to control incursions and resistance build up to chemicals. Quarantine treatment and grain storage.

Dr Jennifer Richardson
Alternate imaging, particularly diagnostic ultrasound and echocardiography.

Emeritus Professor Ian Robertson
Anything epidemiological, and in particular the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases and ecological epidemiology.

Professor Una Ryan
Cryptosporidium; molecular epidemiology; neospora, isospora, tick-borne, babesia, ehrlichia.

Dr Belinda Robson
Associate Professor Belinda Robson is a freshwater ecologist with particular interests in the sustainability of biodiversity in agricultural and conservation landscapes, especially freshwater ecosystems and riparian zones. Her current research focuses on refuges from disturbance for biodiversity in landscapes especially refuges from drought and anthropogenic refuges. She is also working on the resistance and resilience to climate change impacts of freshwater species and recovery pathways after extreme events: in particular drought and wildfire. She has published extensively on the restoration of freshwater ecosystems, including revegetation, re-snagging and environmental flow allocation.

Dr Gabriele Rossi
Analytical and diagnostic validation of veterinary biomarkers: acute phase protein and renal and urinary markers; determination of reference intervals; analytical validation of new instruments in veterinary medicine; pathogenesis of FIP: interaction between the immune response of the host and the virus; infectious diseases: leishmaniosis.

Dr Cristy Secombe
Equine; non infectious respiratory disease; mast cell; endocrinology.

Dr Robert Shiel
Small animal endocrinology; neurology and genomics.

Dr Lisa Smart
Colloid fluid therapy; shock; coagulation; intra-lipid therapy.

Dr Peter Spencer
Wildlife molecular ecology and taxonomy of Australian endemic species; wildlife forensics; invasive species and non-equilibrium genetics; development and application of DNA-based diagnostic tools.

Dr Rachel Standish
Plant ecology and restoration; impacts of global changes on dynamics of native plant communities; old-field succession; new tools and concepts for the conservation of native ecosystems.

Dr Nahiid Stephens
Anatomic pathology; histology, cetacean health / pathology; marine mammal health / pathology; wildlife pathology; wildlife conservation; neuropathic pain; Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Dr Phil Stumbles
Cellular immunology; respiratory tract; asthma; influenza.

Dr Jason Terpolilli
Plant-microbe interactions; nitrogen fixation; soil microbiology; bacterial physiology, molecular genetics and biochemistry.

Emeritus Professor Andrew Thompson
Variety of parasitic infections with common themes being diseases transmitted between animals and humans and the molecular genetics and epidemiology of parasitic disease.

Dr Ravi Tiwari
Molecular biology of stress tolerance; gene regulation; proteomic analysis; role of alternative sigma factors in stress tolerance; biological nitrogen fixation; microbial ecology.

Dr Fiona Valesini
Relationships between habitats and faunal assemblages in nearshore marine and estuarine waters; fisheries ecology; nearshore habitat classification.

Dr Mike van Keulen
Ecology and physiology of marine plants; biological hydrodynamics; seagrass transplantation; coral reef ecology; physiology of corals; organism-sediment interactions; marine ecology and trophic studies; remote sensing of marine habitats; marine biodiversity.

Dr Rebecca Vaughan-Higgins
Disease risk analysis for conservation translocations; Carnaby's cockatoo hindlimb paralysis syndrome; Treponema infection in Gilbert's potoroos.

Dr Natalie Warburton
Comparative anatomy, evolutionary history of marsupials, functional vertebrate morphology, locomotion, musculoskeletal systems, skull shape and masticatory anatomy.

Dr Jennifer Verduin
Oceanography of the coastal ocean, climate studeies and the effect on the marine environment, sedimental dynamics around and within seagrass ecosystems, seagrass rehabilitation.

Dr Penghao Wang
Bioinformatics and computational biology; data analytics; statistical genomics and proteomics; high performance computing and its application in bioinformatics.

Associate Professor Kristin Warren
Endangered species recovery initiatives, disease surveillance of free-ranging wildlife populations and community-based conservation.

Dr Wei Xu
Insect chemical ecology; insect molecular biology and biochemistry; insect functional genomics; insect-plant interaction biosecurity.