Dr Celine Frere

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Dr Celine Frere


Teaching areas

  • Animal Behaviour ANM301

Research areas

  • evolutionary biology
  • animal behaviour
  • genetics


Dr Celine Frere is a molecular ecologist with a keen interest in social evolution, social selection and genomics. She is interested in:

  • how genetic and non-genetic inheritance patterns interact to drive phenotypic evolution in natural populations
  • how genes evolve within social environments
  • fauna restoration in disturbed landscapes
  • how animals adapt to urbanisation 

She has worked on a broad range of plant and animal species including koalas, giraffes, sorghum, dolphins, porpoises and eastern water dragons, and is particularly interested in incorporating an individual’s ecological landscape in our understanding of evolution.

Dr Frere grew up in Switzerland and moved to Australia in 2000 to undertake university education. She obtained her PhD at the University of New South Wales in late 2009, under the supervision of Professor William Sherwin. After completing her PhD, Dr Frere undertook several post-doctoral positions including a position under the guidance of Professor Ian Godwin (University of Queensland). Prior to her commencement as a Research Fellow at USC in 2013, she held a lectureship at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. In 2015, Dr Frere and her colleague Dr Cristescu established the Detection Dogs for Conservation initiative at USC, and work with a range of government and industry stakeholders to deliver data on koala distribution and health.

For potential research projects contact Celine directly.

Research grants

Year Researchers Grant Project Name Funding amount
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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