Group Members


Thomas Madsen, Honorary Professor


Currently holding the following positions:

  • Honorary Professorial Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Australia;
  • Honorary Professorial Fellow, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Full CV available HERE (PDF)


Anne-Lise Gérard, PhD candidate


Competition, ecological and evolutionary interactions of two transmissible cancers – I am studying two transmissible cancers affecting the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii). Devil Facial Tumour 1 (DFT1) is a form of cancer where tumours develop of the face of Tasmanian devils. These tumours can be passed on when devils bite each other during social interactions. Recently, a second form of this disease, DFT2, was identified and is now competing alongside DFT1 to infect hosts. Using a combination of epidemiological modelling, in vitro competition assays and metabolic assays, I aim to understand if DFT2 is a better competitor than DFT1, and whether DFT2 is posing a threat to the already weakened devil population.

Dr Antoine Dujon


Quantitative Biologist (PhD) – Obtain insight on the evolution of cancer in terrestrial and marine species and the implications for their conservation.

Caitlin Vanbeek, PhD candidate


More info coming soon…..

Georgina Bramwell, PhD candidate


Transmissible cancer within Australian bivalves – HDR PHD candidate, supervised by Beata Ujvari and co-supervised by Dr Aaron Schultz, Dr Antoine Dujon and Dr Frédéric Thomas.

Grace Day, PhD candidate


Skin microbiome and genetic diversity of Burrunan dolphins – My PhD project focuses on the critically endangered Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis), a species with high cultural and ecological value. The two known resident populations of Burrunans in Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes face a plethora of challenges, including pollution and excess freshwater run-offs in the Gippsland Lakes. The low salinity and anoxic conditions in Gippsland led to two mass mortality events from Fresh Water Skin Disease. The project investigates the skin microbiome and genetic diversity of Burrunan dolphins to establish their capacity to respond to environmental challenges. I will describe the composition of the skin microbiome in dolphins from Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes. I will also determine the immune gene repertoire of Burrunan dolphins and characterise the overall population genetic diversity.

Nick MacDonald, PhD candidate


Immune gene Epigenetics in DFTD infection – Honours student, co-supervised with Dr Rodrigo Hamede.

Nynke Raven, PhD candidate


The role of immune system in DFTD epidemiology – Australian Higher Degree Research Student, co-supervised with Dr Rodrigo Hamede, Prof Marcel Klaassen & Prof Frédéric Thomas.

Sebastian Carmody, undergraduate


I am mature aged undergraduate passionate about science. I love learning and love teaching others what I learn. Higher education has been a milestone for me, learning about the natural world whilst meeting friends and colleagues along the way. My goals are to achieve a PhD within the field of evolutionary biology and teach others what I learn whilst contributing my research, in genetics, to the ever growing body of scientific knowledge.

Urmi Nishat Nini, PhD candidate


Working on microplastics and heavy metals in freshwater environment.


Dorka (1995 – 2010)

Csibe (2010)