About

Lee is part of the One Health Research Group of senior and postdoctoral scientists and PhD students https://www.facebook.com/onehealthresearchgroup for more information. 

The group is led by Dr Lee Skerratt and use methods from veterinary science, ecology, and biochemistry to investigate wildlife diseases that impact biodiversity, humans or livestock. We work closely with zoos, environment departments  and NGOs to develop improved wildlife management, in particular for frog conservation.  

Lee commenced her PhD in 1995,  with the aim of diagnosing the cause of the mysterious amphibian declines that were occurring in protected areas of Queensland.  She discovered chytridiomycosis, now recognised as the worst disease to impact biodiversity as it has caused hundreds of amphibian species to decline globally.  Since having 3 kids she has continued  research on this disease part time with her salary funded by an ARC postdoctoral fellowship and an ARC Future Fellowship.  This has  enabled further discoveries on pathogenesis, distribution, disease ecology, diagnosis,  conservation management  and immunity resulting in over 100 publications, 10,000 citations  and an H-index of 40.  During 2017 -2018 she was Associate Dean, Research for the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences.

Recent support for the group until 2016 has come from an ARC Discovery Project and an ARC Linkage with Taronga Zoo and NSW OEH. We are currently looking for funds to use proven methods from aquaculture to improve resistance in endangered frogs.

 

Interests
Research
  • Wildlife disease and its management, Amphibian pathology, Conservation
  • Amphibian chytridiomycosis, including pathogenesis, immunity, treatment, virulence, diagnosis and control
Experience
  • 2017 to 2018 - Associate Dean, Research, CPHMVS, JCU (Townsville)
  • 2011 to 2016 - ARC Future Fellow, JCU (Townsville)
  • 2004 to 2010 - ARC Aust Post Doc, JCU (Townsville)
  • 2002 to 2003 - Amphibian Pathologist, National Wildlife Health Centre (Madison, Wisconsin, USA)
  • 1994 to 1995 - Veterinarian, RSPCA (Melbourne)
Research Disciplines
Honours
Awards
  • 2018 - Frank Fenner Life Scientist of the Year
  • 2016 - Tom Thorne and Beth Williams Memorial Award, awarded by the Wildlife Disease Association and the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
  • 2009 - James Cook University Research Excellence Team Award to Wildlife Biosecurity Team
  • 2009 - Book dedication for contributions to research on amphibian decline : Amphibian Biology Vol 9. Amphibian Decline: diseases, parasites, maladies and pollution
  • 2007 - Ian Clunies Ross Award for academic veterinary achievement, from the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists
  • 2000 - CSIRO Medal for excellence in research, awarded to the Amphibian Disease Research Team
Publications

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
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 121+ research outputs authored by Dr Lee Berger from 1997 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Ecological Society of Australia - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

RNAi as a novel antifungal treatment for endangered frogs

Indicative Funding
$9,390 over 3 years
Summary
This project aims to develop a novel method to treat fungal diseases. RNA interference (RNAi) is a cutting edge technique in which small interfering RNA (siRNA) silences genes of interest. I aim to use siRNA to target virulence genes of the fungal disease `amphibian chytrid fungus? in the hope that this can be developed into therapeutic. This will be the first time RNAi has been manipulated in this fungi species, and also the first instance of using siRNA as an antifungal treatment for an animal.
Investigators
Rebecca Webb, Alexandra Roberts, Lee Berger and Lee Skerratt (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Keywords
RNA interference; Health; Wildlife; Antifungal; Virulence; Biosecurity
Supervision

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.

Current
  • Reducing Virulence of Fungal Pathogens using Genetics Tools (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The role of serotonin and glutathione in the pathogenesis of chytridiomycosis (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Studies of Bellinger River Virus (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Completed
Data

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.

Collaboration

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)

Connect with me
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Email
Location
  • 47.001, Pharmacy and Medical Research (Townsville campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
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