Dr Frere obtained her PhD in biology from the University of New South Wales and has held post-doctoral positions at the University of Queensland, a lectureship at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation and the University of Exeter, UK, and a Research Fellowship at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Dr Frere is an empirical biologist with a primary research interest in animal behaviour and genetics. She has published widely including on lizards, giraffes, cetaceans, porpoises, koalas and kangaroos.
She leads a large research group, including 7 PhD candidates, 2 post-doctoral researchers, 3 research assistants and 2 Honours candidates.
Dr Frere was central to the establishment of USC’s Global Change Ecology Research Group, which draws together early and mid-career academics focussing on the impacts of anthropogenic change on biodiversity and ecosystems.
In 2015, Dr Frere’s and her post-doctoral researcher, Dr Romane Cristescu, launched USC’s Detection Dogs for Conservation unit, which delivers ecological data and analysis on vulnerable species (koalas and quolls) to government and industry.
Dr Frere leads a long-term studies of city-dwelling eastern water dragons (8+ years), koalas, eastern red kangaroos (6yrs), and is a genetic curator for one of the longest wild dolphin research studies in the world, the Shark Bay Research Project, (34+years).
Her research has been featured on Catalyst (ABC), Totally Wild (Channel 9), Scope (Channel 10), BrainBuzz (Channel 10), Magical Land of Oz (BBC/ABC), and Off-Track Wild Oz (ABC Radio).