I am currently a mathematician working within the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University (JCU) modelling the spread of infectious diseases. Prior to my appointment at AITHM, I received my PhD from the School of Engineering at JCU. My doctoral research in theoretical astrophysics and cosmology focused on the outstanding problem of the nature of dark matter and dark energy and their density in alternative cosmological models.

At present, I am working to advance: understanding of COVID-19 transmission and epidemiology; genomic-driven infectious disease modelling methodologies and applying these to the emergence, evolution and transmission of drug-resistant pathogens – with a particular focus on tuberculosis in the tropics; machine learning approaches to improve medical diagnostics; ecological models of Wolbachia introduction for dengue control; and cost-effectiveness analyses of novel treatments for drug-resistant infections. Many of these projects are being investigated in partnership with national and international academic and industry partners, and are funded through a variety of external funding bodies. 

I also work as a statistical consultant for the graduate research school at JCU where I analyse field data for student and staff research projects and coordinate / deliver postgraduate statistical courses.


  • TM5516: Biostatistics for Public Health (Level 5; TSV)
  • Mathematical Biology - infectious disease dynamics: transmission; spread; and control
  • Population genetics - molecular evolution; phylogenetics and phyloepidemiology
  • Machine learning - supervised and supervised learning with applications in medicine and public health
  • Cosmology - dark matter, dark energy and early-universe (thermo)dynamics
  • Statistics - introductory, intermediate and advanced statistical theory, applications and programming
  • 2021 to present - Senior Research Fellow, AITHM, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2018 to 2020 - Research Fellow, AITHM, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2016 to 2017 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, AITHM, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2015 - Associate Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2013 to 2015 - Casual Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2020 - Research Excellence Award, James Cook University
  • 2015 - Inclusive Practice Teaching Award, James Cook University
  • 2013 - Best Student Presentation (Australian National Institute of Theoretical Astrophysicists)
  • 2010 - Australian Postgraduate Award
  • 2009 - Academic Medal, James Cook University
  • 2008 - HJ Priestley Memorial Prize, James Cook University
  • 2021 to 2023 - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) ($596,743)
  • 2020 to 2021 - Centre of Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control on Both Sides of Our Border Postdoctoral Fellowship ($180,000)
  • 2018 to 2019 - Centre of Research Excellence in Policy Relevant Infectious diseases Simulation and Modelling (PRISM) Early Career Fellowship ($75,000)
  • 2019 - Centre of Research Excellence in Policy Relevant Infectious diseases Simulation and Modelling (PRISM) Teaching Grant Grant ($33,841)
  • 2018 - Centre of Research Excellence in Policy Relevant Infectious diseases Simulation and Modelling (PRISM) Seed Funding Grant ($20,000)
  • 2016 - Centre of Research Excellence in Policy Relevant Infectious diseases Simulation and Modelling (PRISM) Seed Funding Grant ($9,367)

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 36+ research outputs authored by Dr Michael Meehan from 2006 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Research Council - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Improving Australia?s health and biosecurity through a greater marriage of infectious diseases modelling and genomic surveillance

Indicative Funding
$364,981 over 3 years
Emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance are among the greatest threats to the Australian health system, and current surveillance tools may fail to detect and mitigate infectious disease outbreaks in real time. This project will develop advanced phylodynamic methods (i.e. mathematical models of infectious disease transmission and pathogen evolution) to enable real-time surveillance of infectious disease outbreaks as they emerge and monitor levels of drug resistance.
Michael Meehan (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Pathogen genomics; Mathematical modelling; Infectious disease; Sequencing; Phylodynamic; Computational biology

Department of Health and Ageing - Education and Research Grant

Modelling future testing needs for SARS-CoV-2

Indicative Funding
$42,770 (administered by University of Melbourne)
The Project will enable greater understanding of the current and projected future testing demand for severe acute respiratory acute syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in Australia. The scope of this project is limited to assessing the demand for laboratory based, or near patient point-of-care, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, the gold standard test to diagnose COVID-19.
Jodie McVernon, James McCaw, Emma McBryde, Michael Meehan and Adeshina Adekunle (University of Melbourne and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
COVID-19; Modelling; SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus

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.

  • Genomic Modelling of Infectious Diseases in Commercial Aquaculture Settings (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • To develop a mathematic formula that will compare current and past pathology results to predict wrong blood in tube (WBIT). (Masters , Primary Advisor)

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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