I am interested in the ecological interactions between fungi, plants and animals. This broad interest incorporates mycology, botany, taxonomy, molecular biology, conservation biology and plant pathology, with a special focus on tropical ecosystems.

Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2014 - Daniel McAlpine Medal for outstanding early career research in mycology

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 19+ research outputs authored by Dr Sandra Abell from 2006 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Department of the Environment and Energy - Caring for our Country - Target Area Grant

Bettongia tropica population status, viability and impacts of fire

Indicative Funding
$262,579 over 4 years (administered by World Wildlife Fund for Nature Australia)
Northern Bettong (Bettongia tropica) populations are in decline across its range due to loss of habitat, food source availability, competition, predation, and altered fire and grazing regimes. Landscape-scale surveys across lB. tropica's range in the Wet Tropics bioregion have not been conducted for 17 years. This Caring for Our Country funded project will estimate the current populationstatus in far north Queensland, using new remote sensing technologies (including camera traps and the molecular analysis of oorts*), and address multiple threats in delivering recovery actions, and for the survival of the Northern Bettong.
Christine Hof, Darren Grover, Sandra Abell, L Joseph and Lana Little in collaboration with Tegan Whitehead, Susan Nuske, Jessica Koleck and Stephanie Todd (World Wildlife Fund for Nature Australia, College of Science & Engineering, Department of Environment and Heritage (SA) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service)
Bettongia tropica (Potoroidae); Population; Fire; oorts; Impacts; resources

Wet Tropics Management Authority - Student Research Grant Scheme

Interactions among fungi, ants, and the ant-plant Myrmecodia beccarii.

Indicative Funding
Myrmecodia beccarii is a vulnerable endemic ant-plant of far north Queensland. This ant-plant provides ants with housing in specialised tunnels and chambers. Fungi were discovered in these chambers over 30 years ago but their identity and functional roles have never been determined. I will explore the ecological interactions between fungi, ants and M. beccarii to establish and define this tripartitie mutualism. To do this, I will conduct field work to determine the distribution of fungal species within M. beccarii and field/greenhouse experiments to investigate the interactions and functional roles of fungi. The results will be used to inform the conservation of M. beccarii.
Melinda Greenfield, Sandra Abell, Lori Lach and Joe Holtum (College of Science & Engineering)
Myrmecodia beccarii; Ant-plants; Fungi; Philidris cordata

Department of the Environment and Energy - Australian Biological Resources Study - Postdoctoral Fellowship

Systematic catalogue of arthropod infecting fungi in the genus Cordyceps sensu lato (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) and related genera, from Australian rainforests

Indicative Funding
$135,000 over 3 years
Fungi that infect insects are common in tropical regions of Australia. Despite their abundance, they have never been taxonomically studied in Australia. Recent collections from Australian rainforests have revealed a diversity (over 150) of unclassified taxa on ants, flies, scale insects and spiders. This project will focus on the genera Akanthomyces, Cordyceps, Gibellula, Hirsutella, Hypocrella, Ophiocordyceps, and Torrubiella. A systematic revision and Lucid guide to at least 40 Australian species will be produced. This project will contribute to a better understanding of the health of insect communities and the identity of potential biological control agents of insect pests.
Sandra Abell and R Shivas in collaboration with Elizabeth Aitken (College of Science & Engineering, The University of Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Forestry)
Entomopathogen; Cordyceps fungi; Systematics; Biocontrol; Taxonomy; Evolution

Skyrail Rainforest Foundation - Research Funding

Phylogeny and Biogeography of Australian Garcinia (Clusiaceae)

Indicative Funding
This project will analyse the affinity of close related taxa within Garcinia in Australia. The analysis will use the platform of DArT? Analysis established by DArT? Company, Canberra. The DNA samples will be prepared in high quality and quantity templates to allow the restriction enzyme recognises and cuts the restriction sites in the whole genome. The restriction sites will be analysed using DArT? protocol and software which the in final result will produce DArT? sequence analysis. This final result will show the affinity of the taxa which can also be used to analyse how the genetic varieties occur such as the shape of the fruits, the colour of the flowers and other minute morphological characters.
Rismita Sari, Sandra Abell, Darren Crayn, Natalie Dillon and Paul Gadek (College of Science & Engineering)
Garcinia; Clusianeae; Phylogeny; Mangosteen; Biogeography; Septogarcinia sumbawaensis

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.

  • Biodiversity and Phylogeography of Mountain-top fungi (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Population genetics and non-invasive population estimation of the endangered northern bettong, Bettongia tropica (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • An Assessment of Monotypic Genus Septogarcinia Kosterm., Australian Garcinia, Hybridization, Biogeography and Evolution in Garcinia (Clusiaceae) (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Interactions Among Fungi, Ants, and the Ant-plant Myrmecodia beccarii (PhD , 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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Similar to me

  1. A/Prof Lori Lach
    College of Science & Engineering
  2. Dr Brad Congdon
    College of Science & Engineering
  3. Prof Joe Holtum
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  4. Prof Darren Crayn
    Australian Tropical Herbarium
  5. Dr Phurpa Wangchuk
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine