We conduct field, captive and laboratory-based projects, researching the physiology and behaviour of koalas in a range of environments across Queensland.

We have continuously monitored several of our field research sites for more than 15 years, and in doing so are able to undertake long-term studies, including those focused on the impact of large infrastructure and resource extraction projects on the life history of free-ranging koalas, and seasonal spatial and breeding dynamics.

Our group was founded by Dr Bill Ellis, and comprises ecologists, biologists and postgraduate students.

We pioneered new techniques for investigating mating systems, determining diet preferences, understanding vocal interactions, and analysing spatial dynamics, among other aspects of koala biology.

We also research disease transmission, heat physiology, social behaviour and responses to development and resource extraction.

We work on several community-based projects and have collaborations with the University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology and Central Queensland University.

Our list of publications is comprehensive and authoritative.

Our publications

Adam, D., S. D. Johnston, et al. (2016). ‘Surgical implantation of temperature-sensitive transmitters and data-loggers to record body temperature in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).’ Australian Veterinary Journal 94(1-2): 42-47.

Charlton, B. D., D. Reby, et al. (2012). ‘Estimating the Active Space of Male Koala Bellows: Propagation of Cues to Size and Identity in a Eucalyptus Forest.’ Plos One 7(9): DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045420.

Charlton, B. D., W. A. H. Ellis, et al. (2011). ‘Cues to body size in the formant spacing of male koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) bellows: honesty in an exaggerated trait.’ Journal of Experimental Biology 214(20): 3414-3422.

Charlton, B. D., W. A. H. Ellis, et al. (2011). ‘Perception of Male Caller Identity in Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus): Acoustic Analysis and Playback Experiments.’ Plos One 6(5).

Charlton, B. D., W. A. H. Ellis, et al. (2012). ‘Female koalas prefer bellows in which lower formants indicate larger males.’ Animal Behaviour (84): 1565-1571.

Charlton, B., W. Ellis, et al. (2012). ‘Perception of size-related formant information in male koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).’ Animal Cognition 15: 999-1006.

Clifton, I. D., W. A. H. Ellis, et al. (2007). ‘Water turnover and the northern range of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).’ Australian Mammalogy 29: 85-88.

Craig, A. P., J. Hanger, et al. (2014). ‘A 5-year Chlamydia vaccination programme could reverse disease-related koala population decline: Predictions from a mathematical model using field data.’ Vaccine 32(33): 4163-4170.

Cristescu, R., W. Ellis, et al. (2012). ‘North Stradbroke Island: an island ark for Queensland's koala population?’ Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 2012: 309-334.

Ellis, B. (2003). ‘Integration of natural resources management under Queensland mining legislation.’ Environmental and Planning Law 20: 64-75.

Ellis, W. (1998). Stress, stressors and disease in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Ph.D, The University of Queensland.

Ellis, W. A. H., A. A. Girjes, et al. (1993). ‘Chlamydial infection in koalas under relatively little alienation pressure.’ Australian Veterinary Journal 70(11): 427-428.

Ellis, W. A. H., N. A. White, et al. (1990). ‘Response of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) to re-introduction to the wild after rehabilitation.’ Australian Wildlife Research 17(4): 421-426.

Ellis, W. A. H., T. G. Marples, et al. (1991). ‘The effects of a temperature-determined food supply on the annual activity cycle of the lesser long-eared bat, Nyctophylus geoffroy Leach, 1821 (Microchiroptera, Vespertilionidae)’ Australian Journal of Zoology 39(3): 263-271.

Ellis, W. A., S. I. Fitzgibbon, et al. (2010). ‘Unraveling the mystery of koala vocalisations: acoustic sensor network and GPS technology reveals males bellow to serenade females.’ Integrative and Comparative Biology 50: E49-E49.

Ellis, W. and F. B. Bercovitch (2011). ‘Body size and sexual selection in the koala.’ Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65(6): 1229-1235.

Ellis, W. and F. N. Carrick (1992). ‘Total body water and the estimation of fat in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).’ Australian Veterinary Journal 69(9): 229-231.

Ellis, W. S. Fitzgibbon, et al. (2015) ‘Therole of Bioacoustic Signals in Koala Sexual Selection: Insights from Seasonal Patterns of Associations Revealed with GPS-Proximity Units.’ PLoS ONE 10(7): DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130657

Ellis, W., A. Melzer, et al. (1995). ‘Seasonal-variation in water flux, field metabolic-rate and food-consumption of free-ranging koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).’ Australian Journal of Zoology 43(1): 59-68.

Ellis, W., A. Melzer, et al. (2002). ‘Tree use, diet and home range of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) at Blair Athol, central Queensland.’ Wildlife Research 29(3): 303-311.

Ellis, W., A. Melzer, et al. (2009). ‘Spatiotemporal dynamics of habitat use by koalas: the checkerboard model.’ Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63(8): 1181-1188.

Ellis, W., A. Melzer, et al. (2010). ‘Climate change and the koala Phascolarctos cinereus: water and energy.’ Australian Zoologist 35(2): 369-377.

Ellis, W., B. J. Sullivan, et al. (1998). ‘The spatial and temporal distribution of koala faecal pellets.’ Wildlife Research 25(6): 663-668.

Ellis, W., F. Bercovitch, et al. (2010). ‘Koala birth seasonality and sex ratios across multiple sites in Queensland, Australia.’ Journal of Mammalogy 91(1): 177-182.

Ellis, W., F. Bercovitch, et al. (2011). ‘Koala bellows and their association with the spatial dynamics of free-ranging koalas.’ Behavioral Ecology 22(2): 372-377.

Ellis, W., F. Carrick, et al. (1999). ‘The use of faecal cuticle examination to determine the dietary composition of koalas.’ Australian Zoologist 31(1): 127-133.

Ellis, W., P. Hale, et al. (2002). ‘Breeding dynamics of koalas in open woodlands.’ Wildlife Research 29(1): 19-25.

Ellis, W., P. T. Hale, et al. (2001). ‘Aspects of the ecology of koalas at Blair Athol coal mine. In The research and management of non-urban koala populations. K. Lyons, A. Melzer, F. N. Carrick and D. Lamb (Eds). Rockhampton, Koala Research Centre of Central Queensland: 127-139.

Ellis, W., R. Attard, et al. (2014). ‘Faecal particle size and tooth wear of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).’ Australian Mammalogy 36(1): 90-94.

Ellis, W., S. FitzGibbon, et al. (2013). ‘Koala habitat use and population density: using field data to test the assumptions of ecological models.’ Australian Mammalogy 35(2): 160-165.

Ellis, W., S. FitzGibbon, et al. (2016). "Daylight saving time can decrease the frequency of wildlife–vehicle collisions." Biology Letters 12(20160632).

FitzGibbon, S. I., A. K. Gillett, et al. (2016). "Do koalas really get the blues? Critique of ‘Aversive behaviour by koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) during the course of a music festival in northern New South Wales, Australia’." Australian Mammalogy: -.
Barnes, T., C. Palmieri, et al. (2015). Health and Disease. Marsupials and Monotremes Nature's Enigmatic Mammals. A. Klieve, L. Hogan, S. Johnston and P. Murray. New Yourk, Nova: 315-359.

Girjes, A. A., W. A. H. Ellis, et al. (1993). ‘Immuno-dot blot as a rapid diagnostic method for detection of chlamydial infection in koalas (Phasolarctos cinereus).’ Veterinary Record 133(6): 136-141.

Girjes, A. A., W. A. H. Ellis, et al. (1993). ‘Some aspects of the immune response of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) and in vitro neutralization of Chlamydia psittaci (koala strains).’ FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 6(1): 21-30.

Houlden, B. A., B. H. Costello, et al. (1999). ‘Phylogeographic differentiation in the mitochondrial control region in the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus (Goldfuss 1817).’ Molecular Ecology 8(6): 999-1011.

Johnston, S. D., R. A. Booth, et al. (2013). ‘Is faecal cortisol or corticosterone a reliable index of acute serum cortisol secretion in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)?’ Australian Veterinary Journal 91(12): 534-537.

Kjeldsen, S., K. Zenger, et al. (2015). ‘Genome-wide SNP loci reveal novel insights into koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) population variability across its range.’ Conservation Genetics: 1-17.

Kollipara, A., A. Polkinghorne, et al. (2013). ‘Genetic diversity of Chlamydia pecorum strains in wild koala locations across Australia and the implications for a recombinant C. pecorum major outer membrane protein based vaccine.’ Veterinary Microbiology 167(3-4): 513-522.

Kuchel, L., R. Wilson, et al. (2015). "Cameras, competition and creativity." International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 23(2): 24-45.

Lee, K. E., J. M. Seddon, et al. (2010). ‘Genetic variation and structuring in the threatened koala populations of Southeast Queensland.’ Conservation Genetics 11(6): 2091-2103.

Lee, K. E., W. A. H. Ellis, et al. (2013). ‘Anthropogenic changes to the landscape resulted in colonization of koalas in north-east New South Wales, Australia.’ Austral Ecology 38(3): 355-363.

Lee, K., J. Seddon, et al. (2013). ‘Genetic diversity in natural and introduced island populations of koalas in Queensland.’ Australian Journal of Zoology 60(5): 303-310.

Matthews, A., L. Ruykys, et al. (2013). ‘The success of GPS collar deployments on mammals in Australia.’ Australian Mammalogy 35(1): 65-83.

McAlpine, C., D. Lunney, et al. (2015). ‘Conserving koalas: A review of the contrasting regional trends, outlooks and policy challenges.’ Biological Conservation 192: 226-236.

Melzer, A. and W. A. Ellis (2009). ‘Integrating research and conservation land management - a case study from Koala research in St Bees Island National Park.’ Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 16(4): 236-241.

Melzer, A., C. Baudry, et al. (2011). ‘Tree use, feeding activity and diet of koalas on St Bees Island, Queensland.’ Australian Zoologist 35(3): 870-875.

Melzer, A., W. A. Ellis, et al. (2010). ‘Observations of male-on-male aggression among Queensland koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) from central Queensland.’ Queensland Naturalist 48(1-3): 36-44.

Melzer, A., W. Ellis, et al. (2011). ‘Unusual patterns of tooth wear among koalas Phascolarctos cinereus from St Bees Island, Queensland, require re-evaluation of criteria for aging koalas by tooth-wear class.’ Australian Zoologist 35(3): 550-554.

Melzer, A., W. Ellis, et al. (2013). ‘Central Queensland's Koala Islands’. In Conserving Central Queensland's Koalas. N. Flint and A. Melzer (Eds). Rockhampton, Queensland, Koala Research Centre of Central Queensland: 25-28.

Pfeiffer, A., A. Melzer, et al. (2005). ‘Tree use by koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) on St Bees Island, Queensland - Report of a pilot study.’ Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 112: 47-51.

Pye, G. W., W. Ellis, et al. (2013). ‘Serum vitamin D levels in free-ranging koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).’ Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 44(2): 480-483.

Pye, G., W. Ellis, et al. (2012). ‘Serum protein electrophoresis values for free-ranging and zoo-based koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).’ Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 43(1): 177-180.

Schmidt, D. A., G. W. Pye, et al. (2013). ‘Fat-soluble vitamin and mineral comparisons between zoo-based and free-ranging koalas (phascolarctos cinereus).’ Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 44(4): 1079-1082.

Thompson, J., D. Dique, et al. (2007). ‘The breeding dynamics of koala populations in south-east Queensland.’ Wildlife Research In press.

Tucker, G., A. Melzer, et al. (2007). ‘The development of habitat selection by subadult koalas.’ Australian Journal of Zoology 55(5): 285-289.

Woodward, W., W. A. Ellis, et al. (2008). ‘Koalas on North Stradbroke Island: diet, tree use and reconstructed landscapes.’ Wildlife Research 35(7): 606-611.

Woodward, W., W. Ellis, et al. (2005). Assessment of koala habitat utilisation of rehabilitated areas at North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. Australiasian Wildlife Management Society, Hobart.

Woosnam-Merchez, O., R. Cristescu, et al. (2012). ‘What faecal pellet surveys can and can’t reveal about the ecology of koalas Phascolarctos cinereus.’ Australian Zoologist 36(2): 192-200.