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Assistant Professor in Ecological Public Health, University of Canberra

Dr Rosemary McFarlane is an Assistant Professor in Ecological Public Health at the University of Canberra. She has significant experience and expertise at the interface between health, biodiversity, environmental sustainability and food production. Her unique perspectives derive in part from her initial training as a Veterinarian, and direct hands-on experience in primary production and natural resource management in marginal climatic and agronomic regions. Her PhD training was with the late Professor Tony McMichael and his team of experts in the area of the health impacts of climate and broader ecological change.

Dr McFarlane works extensively with community groups and government to develop landscape-level health solutions. She facilitated the declaration of the 9.8 million ha Ngaanyatjarra Indigenous Protected Area, W.A., and was an instigator of Australian Antarctic Division’s biosecurity measures to protect Antarctic wildlife from human and livestock diseases. She has a long association with Landcare in NSW, ACT and NT, Catchment Management Associations and working with schools and education bodies, particularly around developing ecological and sustainability literacy. She has also worked on collaborative biodiversity - health projects with W.H.O., I.U.C.N., I.U.F.R.O. and other international organisations.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor, University of Canberra


  • 2014 
    ANU, PhD
  • 2005 
    UNE, M. Ecosyst.Mgt
  • 1989 
    U.Syd, B.V.Sc


  • 2019
    Butler, C.D., Higgs, K., McFarlane, R.A. (2019). Environmental Health, Planetary Boundaries and Limits to Growth. In: Nriagu, J. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. Elsevier, vol. 2, pp. 533–543.,
  • 2019
    McFarlane, R.A, Barry, J, Cisse, G, Gislason, M. Gruca, M, Higgs, K, Horwitz, P, Nguyen, GH, Sahu, S . Butler, CD (2020) Good Health and Well-Being – Framing Targets to Maximise Co-Benefits for Forests and People in Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People (Eds. Katila, P, Colfer, C, de Jong, W, Cambridge University Press,
  • 2019
    McFarlane, R.A., Horwitz, P., Arabena, K., Capon, A., Jenkins, A., Jupiter, S., Negin, J., Parkes, M., Saketa, S (2019) Ecosystem Services for Human Health in Oceania. J. Ecosystem Services. 39, 100976.,
  • 2018
    McFarlane, R.A., Butler, C.D., Maynard, S., Cork, S. and Weinstein, P. (2018). Ecosystem‐ based translation of health research: expanding frameworks for environmental health. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.doi: 10.1111/1753- 6405.12816,
  • 2018
    Buse, C, Oestreicher, J, Ellis, N, Patrick, R, Brisbois, B, Jenkins, A, Mc/Kellar, K, Kingsley, J, Gislason, M, Galway, L, McFarlane, R,A. Frumkin, H, Parkes, M (2018) A public health guide to field developments linking ecosystems, environments and health in the Anthropocene. Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health 72(5):jech- 2017-210082,
  • 2017
    Butler, CD, McFarlane, RA (2017) Climate change, food security and population health in the Anthropocene in Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene ed, Dominick A. DellaSala: Reference Modules in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.09745-1,
  • 2015
    Romanelli, C, Capon, T, Mairo, M, Campbell-Lendrum, C, Butler, CD, Corvalan, C, Issa, R, McFarlane, Tirado von, CM. (2015) Climate Change Biodiversity and Human Health in Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health. A State of Knowledge Review. World Health Organisation-Convention on Biological Diversity, Geneva.,
  • 2015
    Plowright, R, Eby, P, Hudson, P, Smith, I, Westcott, D , Bryden W, Middleton D, Reid, P, McFarlane R.A., Martin G, Tabor G, Skerratt L, Anderson D, Crameri G, D, Jordan D, Freeman P, Wang LF, Epstein JH, Marsh GA, Kung NY, McCallum H (2015) Ecological dynamics of emerging bat virus spillover. Proc. R. Soc. B 282: 20142124.,
  • 2013
    McFarlane RA, Sleigh A, McMichael AJ (2013). Land-use change and emerging infectious disease on an island continent. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health10(7): 2699-2719.,
  • 2012
    McFarlane RA, Sleigh A, McMichael AJ (2012) Synanthropy of Wild Mammals as a Determinant of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Asian–Australasian Region. EcoHealth 9 doi: 10.1007/s10393-012-0763-9,
  • 2011
    McFarlane RA, Becker N, Field H. (2011) Investigation of the Climatic and Environmental Context of Hendra Virus Spillover Events 1994–2010. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28374.,