Our research focuses on understanding the biology, evolution, epidemiology, and ecology of rabbit caliciviruses and other rabbit pathogens in Australia.
Our areas of interest include:
- Understanding the fundamental biology of rabbit caliciviruses, how viral proteins interact with cellular proteins, and how host cells respond to infection.
- Diagnostics and surveillance of rabbit caliciviruses and myxoma virus in Australia, understanding which viruses are active, when and where in Australia and how they interact with each other.
- How rabbit caliciviruses are evolving over time using genetic sequencing and phylogenetics. We are also collaborating with international groups to see if this is different in different parts of the world.
- Understanding how RHDV2 infection differs from RHDV1 infection and looking at disease progression and welfare impacts.
- Searching for new and unrecognised viruses of rabbits and hares in Australia, that may be important as zoonotic pathogens (posing a risk to people), future potential biocontrol agents, or interfere with existing biocontrol viruses.
- Developing rabbit organoid systems (3D cell culture systems that mimic miniature organs) for growing and studying rabbit caliciviruses in vivo.
- Investigating blowflies as a suitable surveillance method for rabbit (and potentially other livestock and human) viruses.