The One Health Research Group (OHRG) provides solutions to wildlife health issues using a One Health approach.
The group provides solutions for wildlife health issues through research, training and extension that benefit humans, animals and the environment.
The One Health approach aims to provide holistic solutions that benefit all through using the expertise and resources of all. It is the main wildlife health group within the Melbourne Veterinary School and University of Melbourne and hence provides national and international leadership, communication and coordination in wildlife health and integration of wildlife health with other aspects of One Health.
The One Health approach is a strategic focus of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences and the University of Melbourne.
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The One Health Research Group is happy to tackle any wildlife health issue and use our knowledge, skills and networks to provide holistic solutions that will benefit humans, animals and the environment.
The One Health Research Group provides advice on wildlife health issues to the general public, private companies, state and national governments and international bodies such as the IUCN and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
We provide a wide range of expertise to address important research needs in wildlife health relevant to conservation (in-situ and ex-situ), animal welfare and diseases with significance to livestock and public health. Members of this research group can offer great expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including microbiology, virology, parasitology, epidemiology, toxicology, conservation health, wildlife medicine and disease ecology.
We have established many valuable collaborations with other university-based research teams nationally and internationally and CSIRO, as well as with end user organisations such as: Wildlife Health Australia; the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; Zoos Victoria; the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; Parks Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Park.
These relationships allow us to offer truly multi-disciplinary research teams and projects and to tailor solutions to wildlife health issues that meet end user needs. These services and capabilities are contained within a Wildlife Health Toolkit which can be used to tackle any wildlife health issue.
Wildlife Health Toolkit
We have established many valuable collaborations with other university-based research teams nationally and internationally, allowing us to offer services and capabilities in the form of a Wildlife Health Toolkit, which can be used to tackle any wildlife health issue.
Wildlife disease outbreak investigation
We conduct outbreak investigations for wildlife to determine the causes and control of illness, death and species decline.
Development of management strategies for existing disease issues
We can investigate drivers of and treatment options for endemic disease issues in wildlife populations, leading to development of effective management or mitigation strategies.
Our researchers and graduate research (PhD/MPhil) students.
Professor Anna Meredith
Professor of Zoological and Conservation Medicine
Anna Meredith is Professor of Zoological and Conservation Medicine and joined the University of Melbourne in 2018 as Head of Melbourne Veterinary School. Her interests and expertise lie at the interface between animal, human and ecosystem health (One Health), the conservation of biodiversity, and wildlife population health.
Dr Jasmin Hufschmid
Senior Lecturer in Wildlife Health
Jasmin Hufschmid is interested in wildlife population health in the context of both conservation impacts and potential for public health impacts, including parasitology, infectious disease, pathology and epidemiology including disease risk analysis. Her current research includes work on toxoplasmosis in Australian marsupials and effects of plastics on the health of bird species. Dr Hufschmid is particularly interested in collaborating with colleagues in other veterinary and non-veterinary disciplines (eg: ecology, toxicology) for a holistic approach to wildlife and ecosystem health.
Associate Professor Lee Berger
Principal Research Fellow in Wildlife Health and Conservation
Lee Berger is broadly interested in wildlife health with a focus on infectious diseases that impact biodiversity. Most of her research has focused on the amphibian chytrid fungus that has spread globally and caused 90 frog species to become extinct. Since working on the outbreak investigation, she has researched its pathogenesis, treatment, distribution, disease ecology, diagnosis, conservation management and immunity.
Dr Laura Brannelly
Research Fellow in Wildlife Health (ARC DECRA Fellow)
Laura Brannelly is interested in conservation and ecology with a specific focus on amphibians and their decline due to infectious disease. Her current research focuses on identify ways in which populations persist following devastating declines. Specifically, she is exploring how disease affects reproduction in frogs and investigating how changes in reproductive effort and output can result in population resilience.
Wildlife Health Victoria: Surveillance Coordinator
Pam Whiteley collaborates with people from Victoria’s communities who observe wildlife disease and pathology, microbiology, virology, parasitology, toxicology, epidemiology colleagues to make a diagnosis and identify agents as Coordinator, Wildlife Health Victoria: Surveillance, reporting to Wildlife Health Australia. Surveillance reduces disease impacts on biodiversity, biosecurity and zoonotic diseases (One Health).
Professor Lee Skerratt
Principal Research Fellow in Wildlife Biosecurity (ARC Future Fellow)
Lee Skerratt is a wildlife epidemiologist who mostly studies infectious diseases that threaten biodiversity or that spillover from wildlife into humans and domestic animals. He has worked on a variety of vertebrate taxa and pathogens including bat viruses, frog fungi, marsupial parasites and avian bacteria over the past 30 years.
Dr Tiffany Kosch
Research Fellow (Wildlife One Health)
Dr Tiffany Kosch is investigating the genetic architecture of resistance to the fungal disease chytridiomycosis in endangered frogs such as the Australian Southern Corroboree Frog. She applies approaches from genomics, quantitative genetics, synthetic biology, and animal breeding to develop methods to increase chytrid resistance in frogs and improve the success of reintroduction programs.
Dr Emma Hobbs
Research Fellow (Wildlife One Health)
Emma Hobbs is a One Health research veterinarian with experience conducting zoonotic public health and socioeconomic field research, community engagement, capacity building and international development in low- and middle-income countries across southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Her current research is looking to understand the progression and impact of Buruli ulcer (infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans) on native Australian possums and their role in zoonotic disease transmission in endemic areas of Victoria.
Dr Jordan Hampton
McKenzie Research Fellow (Wildlife One Health)
Jordan Hampton is a research veterinarian with experience applying animal welfare science to wildlife management, conducting ecotoxicology studies, examining infectious diseases carried by invasive animals, and applying animal ethics to wildlife controversies. His current research is an ecotoxicology study examining the threat posed by lead (Pb) to wild and domestic animals and humans in Australia.
Dr Nicholas Doidge
Nicholas Doidge is a veterinarian with interests primarily in conservation medicine, as well as zoo and wildlife health and disease. He recently completed a residency at Melbourne Zoo and is now doing a PhD investigating bacterial disease in the critically endangered Lord Howe Island stick insect.
Dr Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner has a special interest in wildlife in field-based anaesthesia and surgery. He is based part-time at both Zoos Victoria and the University of Melbourne. Dr Gardner is fascinated by marine mammal and sea turtle health, and particularly enjoys remote conservation fieldwork. His current research investigates the epidemiology of infectious agents in abortions in Australian fur seals.
Dr Tharaka Liyanage
Tharaka Liyanage is a veterinarian with a broad interest in wildlife health and conservation, zoonotic diseases and Asian elephant medicine and management. Currently Dr Liyanage is working on a PhD project involving developing an ELISA to detect Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies in multiple marsupial species in Australia.
Dr Anita Tolpinrud
Anita Tolpinrud is a veterinarian with a broad interest in conservation medicine, wildlife health, One Health and zoological medicine. She is undertaking a PhD on wildlife reservoirs of zoonotic disease, with an emphasis of Q fever in Australian mammals at the livestock-wildlife interface.
Anthony Waddle is interested in the intersection of ecology, evolution, and conservation with regards to combatting emerging infectious diseases. Most of his research is focused on the amphibian disease, chytridiomycosis. He is currently investigating various mitigation strategies for combatting this disease such as vaccines, habitat manipulation, selective breeding, and synthetic biology.
Mikaeylah Davidson has a keen interest in wildlife conservation using genetic interventions to achieve long term sustainability. Her current research is focused on using genomics and synthetic biology to improve resistance to the fungal disease, chytridiomycosis in endangered Australian amphibians.
Tian Chen is investigating the disease progression, distribution, risk factors and prevention methods of chronic Phalaris toxicity in Macropods. He will be conducting field investigations, necropsy and histopathology examinations of at-risk and clinical animals in order to understand more about disease features and the patterns of disease occurrence which will help predict potential future outbreaks. He will also be conducting field trials on disease prevention methods to help improve the current disease management strategies.
Danielle Wallace is passionate about ecology and wildlife conservation, with a particular focus on frogs and amphibian disease. Her PhD research explores how the fungal disease, chytridiomycosis, affects the breeding behaviour and mating displays of Victorian frogs.
Alexander Wendt is interested in amphibian conservation using genetics as a tool to determine population structuring and the variables that may influence metapopulations, whether biotic or abiotic. His PhD research focuses on how the fungal disease, chytridiomycosis, may act as a selective pressure on amphibian reproduction.
Sally Gazzard is a veterinarian currently completing a residency at Melbourne Zoo and a Masters by research, investigating embryo survival in the endangered Southern Corroboree frog.
Infectious diseases and other threatening processes of wildlife are becoming increasingly important as globalisation and environmental change are causing them to emerge and re-emerge. The One Health Research Group uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide holistic solutions to mitigate the impact of health issues that impact biodiversity, humans or agriculture.
OHRG researchers have decades of experience researching wildlife health, including emerging infectious diseases and toxicoses.
A major focus is chytridiomycosis, which has caused the extinction of about 90 amphibian species around the world, and the decline of hundreds more. Other current research includes industrial fluoride toxicity in marsupials, risk analysis for the introduction of white nose syndrome in bats, determining the importance of disease in the conservation of the Lumholtz tree kangaroo, and treatment of sarcoptic mange in Australian wildlife.
Recent past work includes improving the control of transmission of Hendra virus from bats into horses and humans, and investigating avian influenza and Newcastle disease in waterfowl in Australia - both these diseases sporadically spill over into poultry.