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Romane H Cristescu

Researcher in Koala, Detection Dogs, Conservation Genetics and Ecology, University of the Sunshine Coast

I am an ecologist with a wide range of interests in developing new methodologies in conservation to achieve results more accurately and efficiently - including using detection dogs or remote surveys (drones) ; restoration ecology ; conservation genetics ; fauna responses to habitat loss and fragmentation ; interactions and synergies in threats to endangered species and emerging infectious diseases in wildlife. I worked with spectacular and interesting animals including gorillas, dolphins and koalas.

I qualified as a veterinarian in France with a wildlife specialisation. I hold a Mater in genetics and a PhD in Ecology with the University of New South Wales. I worked as an advisor on Mine Closure / Rehabilitation in the Mining Industry, where I continued my research on restoration ecology.

I am a founding member of the University of the Sunshine Coast Detection Dogs for Conservation. I work especially with my dog Maya, trained on the target odour “koala poo” as a a Postdoc Research Fellow at USC in Dr Frere’s lab.


  • 2015–present
    Researcher, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • 2006–2007
    Biodiversity Officer, French Ministry for the Conservation of Biodiversity


  • 2012 
    UNSW, PhD
  • 2006 
    Universite de Tours, MSc
  • 2005 
    Universite de Nantes/Ecole veterinaire de Nantes, DVM