Dr Martina Jelocnik | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Dr Martina Jelocnik

PhD (Microbiology) Sunshine Coast, BBioMedSc (Hons) Qld. UT, BAppSci Qld. UT

  • ARC DECRA Research Fellow
+61 7 5456 3585
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Martina Jelocnik


Dr Martina Jelocnik is an ARC DECRA Research Fellow at USC. She leads the “Molecular Chlamydia” research team that investigates key questions in the molecular epidemiology, zoonotic potential, control and diagnosis of veterinary chlamydia. Martina’s research is focused on fine-detailed molecular epidemiology of chlamydial infections in Australian livestock as well as wildlife, employing novel molecular approaches. Recently, Martina has been at the forefront of the emerging chlamydia infections in horses and applying innovative “One Health approach” to dissect these infections, whilst showcasing outstanding collaborative skills. She also works on the development of rapid isothermal assays that can be deployed at the Point-of-Care for detection of chlamydia.

In 2019, Dr. Jelocnik was awarded several grants and fellowships, including a highly competitive ARC DECRA Fellowship, with research to focus on epidemiology of chlamydial infections in birds and horses, and development of innovative diagnostic methods; and two Agrifutures Australia grants to expand her research on emerging equine chlamydial infections and development of rapid diagnostics, for not just chlamydia, but other horse pathogens.
As someone who is rapidly establishing herself as one of the Australia’s leading experts on animal chlamydiosis, Martina has a range of active collaborations with national and international research groups, government and industry organisations.

Martina is also an avid mentor, USC STEM outreach programs volunteer scientist, enthusiastic Microbiology educator and science communicator.


  • Presentation Award, European Meeting on Animal Chlamydioses, Croatia
  • 2017 Fresh Science Competition: Queensland Finalist
  • 2017 USC Early Career Researcher Award: Weighted citations over the past 5 years

Key publications

  • Jelocnik M. Chlamydiae from Down Under: The curious cases of chlamydial infections in Australia. Microorganisms. 2019. 7(12). pii: E602.
  • Jelocnik M, Gillet A, Hanger J, and Polkinghorne A. Chlamydiosis in koalas. In: Vogelnest, L and Portas, T (eds.) 2019. Current Therapy in Medicine of Australian Mammals 2nd edition. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
  • Jelocnik M, et al. An epizootic of Chlamydia psittaci equine reproductive loss associated with suspected spillover from native Australian parrots. Emerging Microbes and Infection 2018. 7(1):88.

Professional memberships

The Australian Society of Microbiology (MASM)

Research grants

Project Name Funding Body
Understanding the epidemiology of chlamydial infections in Thoroughbred mares Agrifutures
On the brink of infectious disease spill-over: From parrots to horses to humans Australian Research Council - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
Rapid diagnosis of infectious agents of equine reproductive loss Agrifutures

Research areas

  • Veterinary microbiology
  • Molecular microbiology and epidemiology
  • Molecular epidemiology and comparative genomics of chlamydial species infecting human, livestock and wildlife hosts
  • Development of molecular diagnostic tests
  • Investigating zoonotic potential of chlamydiae

Teaching areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biology

Dr Martina Jelocnik's areas of knowledge include veterinary microbiology, zoonoses, chlamydial infections and disease.

More UniSC experts...