About Associate Professor Merran Govendir

Research is a creative and collaborative process to understanding something that you find fascinating. Sometimes, in the case of my research, you find no-one has looked at your question before and you design a scientific study to provide evidence that changes current thinking. And like Archimedes, you experience that exciting ‘Eureka’ experience.

I am nationally and internationally recognised for my research which is concerned with both the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of various medicines to optimise their dose rates for koalas, other marsupials and other exotic animals as well as companion animals.

I have been researching the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic properties of medicines in animals for over 10 years. I have been the primary supervisor for four completed PhD candidates, as well as three research masters students and have been an associate supervisor for many more candidates. I am best known nationally and internationally for my ground breaking work in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medicines in koalas. With my research students we have found that when medicines are administered orally to koalas that they are poorly absorbed into the circulation and those drugs that are absorbed are rapidly eliminated. No one knew this until we first published this study in 2010. We have found that this phenomenon or rapidly drug elimination has been observed in the other Eucalypt spp. eating marsupials that we have studied. As I am one of the few people performing this research, I have many collaborative projects with Australian and International wildlife hospitals and zoos. Currently I have 46 journal publications. I am Associate Editor of an International Veterinary Journal. Take a look at our Facebook page Koala Medicine Research.

Selected publications

1. Kimble B, Li KM, Valtchev P, Higgins DP, Krockenberger MB, Govendir M (2014) In vitro hepatic microsomal metabolism of meloxicam in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), ringtail possums (Pseudocheirus peregrinus), rats (Rattus norvegicus) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C, 161; 7-14. PMID: 24345479 
2.  Black LA, Landersdorfer CB, Bulitta JB, Griffith JE, Govendir M (2014) Evaluation of enrofloxacin use in koalas (Phascolartos cinereus) via population pharmacokinetics and Monte Carlo simulation.  Journal of  Veterinary Pharmacology & Therapeutics  37; 301-311.  PMID:24219009 
3. Baral RM, Dhand NK, Freeman KP, Krockenberger MB, Govendir M (2013) Biological variation and reference change values of feline plasma biochemistry analytes.  Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery DOI:10.1177/1098612X13508770; PMID:24217705  
4. Kimble B, Black LA, Li KM, Valtchev P, Gilchrist S, Gillett A, Higgins DP, Krockenberger MB & Govendir M (2013) Pharmacokinetics of meloxicam in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) after intravenous, subcutaneous and oral administration.  Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 36; 486-493. PMID:23406022
5. Govendir M, Hanger J, Kimble B, Griffith J, Black L, Krockenberger L, Higgins DP (2012)  Plasma concentrations of chloramphenicol in diseased koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) after subcutaneous administration. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 35:147-154 PMID:21569052   
6. Griffith JE, Higgins DP, Li KM, Krockenberger MB, Govendir M (2010) The absorption of enrofloxacin and marbofloxacin after oral and subcutaneous administration in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 33, 595-604. PMID: 21062313 
7. Kluger EK, Hardman C, Govendir M, Baral R, Sullivan DR, Snow D, Malik R. (2009) Triglyceride response following an oral fat tolerance test in Burmese cats, other pedigree cats and domestic crossbred cats following an oral fat tolerance test. Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery. 11: 82- 90.  PMID:18667349  
8. Kluger EK, Malik R, Snow D, Sullivan D, Ilkin W, Govendir M (2008) Serum triglyceride concentration in dogs with epilepsy treated with phenobarbital or with phenobarbital and bromide. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 233:1270-1277.  PMID:18922053   
9. Govendir M, Perkins M, Malik R (2005) Improving seizure control with refractory epilepsy in dogs using gabapentin as an adjunctive agent. Australian Veterinary Journal 83: 602-608. PMID:16255282   
10. Tan C, Govendir M, Zaki S, Miyake Y, Packiarajah R, Malik R (2004) Evaluation of four warming protocols to minimise anaesthesia and surgery related heat loss in dogs. Australian Veterinary Journal 82: 15-19. 15 citations.  PMID: 15088962