Dr Celine Frere

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Dr Celine Frere


Named as one of Australia’s 30 'most dynamic scientists and technologists' (Science and Technology Australia) and recognised as a SuperStar of STEM 2017.

USC Senior Research Fellow

PhD NSW, BA (Hons I) Qld.

+61 7 5456 5415
Office location
KDM 2 (Demountable Building behind K Building)
Dr Celine Frere


I lead my own independent research group of 15 people at the University of the Sunshine Coast (4 post-doctoral fellows, 7 PhD candidates, 3 honours candidates and one part-time Research Assistant).

I am primarily interested in building and exploiting long-term, individual-based genetic and behavioural empirical information to answer questions about evolutionary processes in nature (with a focus on social evolution and adaption). My research also has strong applied outcomes delivering ecological data and analysis on vulnerable species to government and industry (through the Detection Dogs for Conservation (DDC) Research and Consultancy which I established with Dr Romane Cristescu in 2015).

I lead the longest individual-based study of reptiles in Australia - city-dwelling eastern water dragons (8+ years), the largest dataset on koala distribution, disease and genetics in Australia, a large dataset on eastern red kangaroos (6yrs), and I am genetic curator for one of the longest wild dolphin research studies in the world, the Shark Bay Research Project, (34+years).

Through the DDC, my research group provides stakeholders with data on distribution, movement, genetic connectivity, and presence of disease in vulnerable koala populations, as well as pre-clearing services to the mining sector (quolls). Our methodology has been endorsed by the Commonwealth Threatened Species Commissioner, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (QTMR) and NSW Roads and Maritime Service. We are currently working with QTMR to inform major infrastructure developments in SE Qld, including an impact assessment (landscape genetic connectivity and disease analysis) for the Bruce Highway Upgrade Project (BHUP) at Tinana (Fraser Coast), ecological surveys for the Bruce Highway Upgrade (from Caloundra to Sunshine Motorway), and ecological surveys for a koala distribution map for the Bruce Highway Upgrade Cooroy-Curra Section D.

Research grants

Year Researchers Grant Project Name Funding amount
2018 Mann, Frère National Science Foundation NSF-IOS USA The Impact of Maternal Effects on Social Plasticity and Fitness Variation in a Long-Lived Mammal US $791,243
2018 Frère, Sherwin, Cristescu, Johnson Qld Dept. of Transport and Main Roads Genetics to the rescue: Detecting early signals of population subdivision. $366,700
2018 Frère, Cristescu, Schoeman, Scales  Noosa Biosphere Koala Forever: securing the future of wild koalas and wild koala eco-tourism in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve. $80,000
2018 Cristescu, Frère.  NSW Government SE Northern Tablelands Koala Habitat Project. $61,000
2018 Frère, Cristescu Redland City Conservation genomics of koalas: implication for management. $160,000
2016-2017 Frere, Cristescu Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, NSW  Mapping koala distribution, favoured trees and threats in the Northern Tablelands A$110,000
2016-2021 Frere, Cristescu Qld Department of Transport and Main Roads  Non-invasive monitoring of fragmented and rehabilitated koala habitats using detection dogs: maximising koala conservation outcomes from mitigation strategies (e.g. offsets)  A$940,000
2016 Frere, Cristescu  Noosa Biosphere Koala mapping and health A$59,400
2016-2019 Frere, Cristescu Sunshine Coast Regional Council  Developing non-invasive methodologies for Koala health landscape monitoring  A$60,000
2016 Frere, Cristescu Fraser Coast Regional Council  Developing non-invasive methodologies for Koala health landscape monitoring  A$20,000
2016-2019 Frere, Cristescu Gympie Regional Council Developing non-invasive methodologies for Koala health landscape monitoring  A$60,000
2015 Frere, Cristescu Sunshine Coast Council  Koala Health Sunshine Coast Region  A$20,000
2015 Frere, Cristescu Fraser Coast Regional Council  Koala Health Fraser Coast Region A$10,000
2015 Frere, Cristescu International Foundation for Animal Welfare  Koala Detection Dog A$31,000

Mann, Patterson, CH Frere 


National Science Foundation USA -International Research Experience for Students  Maternal Effects on Ecology, Sociality, and Fitness in a Long-Lived Mammal  A$249,000
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