Associate Professor Robert Hedlefs is a north Queensland born veterinary scientist with a passion for biosecurity and animal production in tropical countries. He has a special interests in the areas of veterinary professional ethics, legislation of husbandry, research and practice of livestock production and the safe and effecient production of animals and animal products for food biosecurity.

Initial research at James Cook University in 1991 in the field of immunolgy of bovine botulism led to more research into diseases that impacted on food animal production in the tropics and the techniques that could be used to quantify the loss or identify areas of further research.

Associate Professor Hedlefs has also experience and expertise in the live cattle export trade, travelling with boats to Japan in 1987 to identify the effects of cooling methods and floor area on heat stress in heavy slaughter bullocks.

His work has included publications and presentations at conferences and invited events in Japan, Fiji, Solomon Islands, PNG and Australia.

  • TV1101: Veterinary Professional Life 1 (Level 1; TSV)
  • TV2002: Integrated Animal Structure and Function 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • TV3001: Transitions from Health to Disease 1 (Level 3; TSV)
  • TV3002: Transitions from Health to Disease 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • TV4001: Veterinary Clinical Sciences 1 (Level 4; TSV)
  • TV4002: Veterinary Clinical Sciences 2 (Level 4; TSV)
  • 2015 to present - Project Leader, NCP Mobility Grant (Townsville)
  • 2015 to present - Project leader, MLA BJD research project (Townsville)
  • 2012 to present - Adjunct A/Prof, JCU (Townsville)
  • 2010 to 2012 - Assoc Prof State Veterinary Medicine, JCU (Townsville)
  • 2010 to 2012 - Project Leader, AusAID (PNG, FIJI, Vanuatu, Solomon is)
  • 2007 to 2012 - Project Leader, ACIAR (PNG)
  • 1992 to 2010 - Manager (NQ), Biosecurity Queensland (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
  • 2014 to 2016 - Environmental persistence of BJD in northern Australia
  • 2012 - Australian VeterinaryAassociation

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
Current Funding

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

Meat & Livestock Australia - Research Grant

Environmental survivability of Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis (Mptb) on northern grazing properties

Indicative Funding
$477,539 over 3 years
Bovine Johne's Disease (BJD) has recently been diagnosed for the first time in Queensland beef cattle herds. This project will examine (1) survival times for causative bacteria in tropical environments (2) whether diagnostic tests can detect live (infectious) bacteria, and (3) the extent to which relatives of the bacteria causing BJD occur in the environment and potentially interfere with diagnostic tests. Collectively, out results will assist with management of the BJD outbreak so that it can be contained without imposing unnecessary operational and financial impacts on the beef cattle industry of northern Queensland.
Wayne Hein, Robert Hedlefs and Jacqueline Picard in collaboration with D Begg, D Waltisbuhl and J Platell (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, The University of Sydney, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Forestry)
Bovine Johne's Disease; Mycobacterium avium subsp.; Paratuberculosis; Soil; Diagnostic tests; Bacterial survival

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.

  • The Study of Brucellosis in Cattle Within the Pacific Island Community as a Model for Disease Surveillance and Reporting (PhD , Associate 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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