Faculty of Science and Technology

Microbial ecology

Campus: Gippsland

Discipline: Microbiology

Research field: Microbial Ecology

Key words: Microbiome, white sharks, 16S rRNA sequencin, gut bacteria

Supervisor(s): David Piedrafita

Contact details:

Email: david.piedrafita@federation.edu.au

Brief Supervisor Bio

David works on infectious agents, especially worm parasites of animals and humans such as the liver flukes, blood flukes and gastrointestinal nematodes. Research is centred on understanding how parasites and hosts interact to provide information we need to understand disease susceptibility and design better vaccines or drugs to prevent and treat parasitic disease.

Supervisor(s): Meagan Dewar

Contact details:

Email: m.dewar@federation.edu.au

Brief Supervisor Bio

Meagan’s research focuses on the microbial ecology of wildlife and wildlife diseases. Using next generation genomic sequencing, she identifies members of the microbial community, and explores what role they play in host health, physiology and digestion. She also uses next generation sequencing to study the health and disease of Antarctic wildlife. Meagan’s previous work has focused on the microbiome of penguins, seals and sharks.

Project title: Microbiome of Australian Juvenile and sub-Adult White Sharks

Project Description

The microbiome plays at important role in host health, physiology and immune function. However, in many wildlife species, little is known about what microbes colonise the gastrointestinal tract, let alone their importance to host health and physiology. Therefore, in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries of NSW, this project will use next generation genomic sequencing to profile the microbial composition and diversity of juvenile and sub-adult white sharks from NSW. DPI NSW have collected faecal swabs from Juvenile and sub-adult white sharks along the entire NSW coast as part of their shark mitigation project. This project will involve; 1) extraction of genomic DNA from faecal swabs and associated water samples, 2) library preparation of samples, genomic sequencing and 3) bioinformatics analysis of the data (training provided).