Estelle Venter obtained a BSc degree with majors Microbiology and Biochemistry with distinction. She obtained her MSc degree in Microbiology (Virology, specifically on Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus.  She then commences lecturing on microbiology and assisting in a diagnostic virology laboratory. She completed her PhD entitled ‘The development of a group-specific diagnostic probe for the detection of the 24 serotypes for bluetongue virus (BTV)’ in 1993. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997 and Professor in 2013. She obtained a Y (young researcher) research rating at the South African Research Foundation in 1998, C2 (established researcher) in 2012 - 2017 and 2018 - 2023.


Her main research focus is on arboviral diseases specifically lumpy skin disease (LSD), RVF and bluetongue (BT). Other research interests include orbiviruses e.g. AHSV and Palyamviruses and the Simbu and Flavi group of viruses. She has obtained research funds e.g. from THRIP for FMD, NRF for both BT and LSD, BBSRC/CIDLID and the EU (DEFEND) for LSD and TIA for BT. She had supervised/co-supervised a total of 52 postgraduate students that obtained their degrees. She has been an external examiner for 9 Masters and 2 PhD students and an internal examiner for 6 MSc and 2 PhD students and an Advisor Mentor at JCU for 3 PhD students. She has 102 published research articles, all in accredited journals and 4 chapters in books with a current h-index of 30.  She has refereed 92 manuscripts, of which 48 the past five years, i.e. for journals including the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, Theriogenology, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, Veterinary Microbiology, African Journal of Biotechnology,  BioMed Central (BMC) Veterinary Research, Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, Vaccine, Epidemiology and Infection, PLoS Pathogens, Viruses and Transboundary and Emerging Diseases Journal. She was a referee for 16 Grant proposals of the Nation Research Foundation, South Africa, assisted in the rating process of 12 scientists and review proposals for promotion.

Collaboration with researchers nationally and internationally, the latter which Dr W Wilson, Wyoming USA (2000 – 2018), (currently employed by Kansas University and collaborating on RVF and training of students) and Prof J MacLachlan from UC Davis, USA (2008 - 2010) on BTV. She was the co-promoter of a PhD student (LSDV) with promoter Prof Collenbrander from Utrecht University (2007) and has collaborated with Dr P Mellor (co-supervisor) from Pirbright, UK as supervisor of an MSc student (BTV Culicoides work) and a PhD student (2010). She was a co-promoter of four PhD students at international universities, Utrecht University (2, 2007, 2020), in Oslo, Norway in 2014 and Helsinki, Finland (2015).

She assists in the writing of several research grants; a Wellcome Trust Grant (in 2004) on AHSV with Dr J Wood from the UK, not successful, 2010 from the NRF/Belgium collaboration on the overwintering of Culicoides midges, not successful. She was the co-applicant of a successful research grant to CIDLID (DFID/BBSCR) on LSDV (2009) and collaborated with Dr E Tuppurainen, Dr C Ouro and Prof P Mellor from Pirbright, UK from 2010 to 2013 in this regard. In 2016, she has co-applied for a Horizon2020 grant with Dr Pip Beard from the UK, not successful (2016) but successful in 2017, and to the Morris Animal Foundation on flaviviruses in horses, not successful. In South Africa, she has obtained research funds from the University of Pretoria: 2 grants in 2013, 1 in 2014 and 1 in 2015. She also obtained research funds from the Technology Innovation Agency (2013-2017) for research on BT and collaborating with Dr P van Rijn, the Netherlands, in this regard. Drs M Madder, Jan van den Abbeele and D Geysen from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium are collaborators in presenting online courses and research. She was invited to a Gates Foundation sponsored conference on the improvement of capripoxvirus vaccines (2015). She has acted as a technical expert for the IAEA visiting laboratories in Zimbabwe and Entebbe, Uganda and as a technical expert for SANAS in Zimbabwe and the University of Cape Town’s Vaccine Research Laboratory.

She moved to Australia in 2017 and currently working at James Cook University as Professor of Veterinary Education.

  • MI3021: Clinical Microbiology 1 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MI3051: Clinical Microbiology 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MI5021: Advanced Clinical Microbiology 1 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MI5051: Advanced Clinical Microbiology 2 (Level 5; TSV)
  • TV1101: Introduction to Veterinary Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • TV1103: Fundamentals of Veterinary Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • TV2001: Integrated Animal Structure and Function 1 (Level 2; TSV)
  • TV2102: Integrated Animal Structure and Function 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • TV3002: Transitions from Health to Disease 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • TV4001: Veterinary Clinical Sciences Part 1 of 2 (Level 4; TSV)
  • TV4002: Veterinary Clinical Sciences Part 2 of 2 (Level 4; TSV)
  • 2017 to present - Professor of Veterinary Education, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2013 to 2017 - Professor, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • 1997 to 2012 - Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, UP, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • 1988 to 1996 - Senior Lecturer, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • 1985 to 1987 - Lecturer, Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • 1981 to 1985 - Medical Natural Scientist, Medical Microbiology, Section Virology, University of the Free State, Government (South Africa)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2012 to 2019 - Top 10 senior researcher of the year. Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 72+ research outputs authored by Prof Estelle Venter from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Scholarship

Intensification of the redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) industry: the importance of sperm quality and male fertility to productivity.

Indicative Funding
$60,000 over 3 years
Expansion of the redclaw aquaculture industry is limited by suboptimal methods to produce fertilized eggs and craylings for pond production. Improvement of reproductive efficiency is dependent on several factors as well as understanding the underlying causes of subfertility. This project seeks to develop advanced reproductive technologies to characterise sperm quality; establish optimal diets; and develop artificial fertilization and sperm cryopreservation techniques for superior male broodstock to accelerate selective breeding.
Jon Irish Aquino, John Cavalieri, Leo Nankervis and Estelle Venter in collaboration with Chaoshu Zeng and Lisa Elliot (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Science & Engineering and Australian Crayfish Hatchery)
Cherax quadricarinatus; Sperm quality; Redclaw crayfish aquaculture; Sperm freezing; Broodstock nutrition; Artificial fertilization

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Outcomes Assessments in Undergraduate Veterinary Science Education. (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Enhancing reproduction in female redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) for commercial juvenile production (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Sperm quality of male redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus): Insights from conventional and advanced sperm diagnostic tools, methods of spermatophore collection, and broodstock nutrition (PhD , Advisor Mentor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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