Koala Health Hub, Koala Infectious Diseases Research Group


We are seeking expressions of interest in our PhD program or development of postdoctoral opportunities. Koala numbers have been in severe decline for many years and in most states the species’ status is listed as “vulnerable”, based on a dramatic reduction in koala numbers over the past 5-10 years, over most of its range. The threat facing koala populations today is complex and based on numerous challenges including; habitat loss, widespread and serious disease, urbanization, domestic dog attacks, motor vehicle collisions and climatic extremes. Without assistance to overcome these issues the long-term outlook for koalas in Australia is bleak.  The Koala Health Hub connects researchers in pathology, ecology, pharmacology, microbiology, immunology, genetics and the social sciences with those on the coalface of koala care and management; in koala hospitals and in the wild, so that research can better inform management, and so managers can better direct research, to find the answers they need.  The Koala Health Hub is hosted in a Faculty with a long history of research in koala health, and in wildlife health and conservation in general.


Dr Damien Higgins, Associate Professor David Norton Phalen

Research Location

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Program Type



Those interested in pursuing a PhD or developing a postdoctoral position in any aspect of koala health and conservation are encouraged to contact Assoc Prof Damien Higgins (damien.higgins@sydney.edu.au) to discuss potential projects.   The successful PhD applicant must apply for and be awarded a scholarship (stipend) for example, an Australian Postgraduate Award APA/UPA for Australian and New Zealand residents. International students interested in this project could apply for IPRS scholarships which are available for eligible students.   Students must have a scholarship which covers full tuition fees and a living allowance.

Additional Information

Damien Higgins Supervisor Profile:

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International Student information on tuition fees and scholarships:

International Scholarships information:

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Koala, Wildlife Health, wildlife, disease

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2126