Professor Ross Alford is broadly interested in ecology, animal behaviour, conservation biology, and evolution. Most of his research is focused on the ecology, behaviour, and conservation biology of frogs and their larvae, although he and his postgraduate students and research associates also work on a variety of reptiles and on freshwater and marine invertebrates.

Since the early 1990s, he has been strongly involved in research aimed at understanding the problem of global amphibian declines and how to prevent and reverse them. This has included collaborative research in North and Central America, and extensive collaborations with many researchers throughout the world.

Much of his present research is focused on understanding the complex host-pathogen relationships between frogs and the amphibian chytrid fungus, and how it is modified by individual behaviour, immune responses, and the assemblage of other microbes inhabiting frog skin.

  • Ecology
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Conservation Biology
  • Evolution
Research Disciplines

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 139+ research outputs authored by Empro Ross Alford from 1989 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Wildlife Society - University Student Grant

Do bacterial immune defences drive the recovery of threatened frog populations?

Indicative Funding
Emerging infectious diseases are a growing problem for wildlife. One of these diseases, chytridiomycosis, has decimated many amphibian populations world-wide. Some populations have, however, recovered from chytridiomycosis outbreaks, and understanding the factors enabling their recovery will aid management efforts. Our project will examine the possibility that frogs have shifted their microbiomes to contain more anti-microbial species. These species may have played an important role in the recovery of frog populations.
Donald McKnight, Kyall Zenger, Lin Schwarzkopf, Ross Alford and Deborah Bower (College of Science & Engineering)
Conservation; emerging infectious disease; chytridiomycosis; Amphibian; Evolution; microbiome

Equity Trustees - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Do natural body temperature fluctuations help Wet Tropics frogs beat a deadly disease?

Indicative Funding
Chytridiomycosis is a disease that wreaked havoc on native Wet Tropics frogs in recent decades. Some populations have since recovered but individuals remain infected. Wildlife diseases are dynamic and can change at the slightest ecological perturbation. To date, researchers lack a complete understanding of the ecological factors that could trigger new outbreaks of chytridiomycosis. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis, is a temperature-sensitive organism, and frog body temperatures influence infection probability. Although climate may profoundly influence future chytridiomycosis dynamics, the temperature envelope critical to understanding of Bd-host interactions is crudely defined. This project will address this research gap.
Sasha Greenspan and Ross Alford (College of Science & Engineering)
Chytridiomycosis; Thermal Ecology

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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.


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.


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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