One Planet | One Health
Our node promotes collaborative and innovative cross-disciplinary research on pathogentic fungi.

Our core group includes researchers from medical microbiology, clinical research, veterinary agricultural science, environment and life sciences, epidemiology and pharmacy and lead FungiSphere research themes in fungal biology, ecology and epidemiology, food security, pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance.

Our current projects include:

  • A One Health investigation of agricultural azole fungicides as drivers of antifungal resistance in pathogens of humans, animals and plants, funded by Sydney Institute of Agriculture and led by Fungisphere researchers
  • Antifungal drug discovery research leading to the identification of a new drug target and several potential inhibitors, led by Julie Djordjevic 
  • Research into the effect of antimicrobial treatment on human gut mycobiomes, led by early-career researcher Vanessa Marcelino
  • Development of hydrophobic antifungal compounds that can be aerosolised for use in treatment of pulmonary fungal infections, such as Aspergillosis, led by Philip Kwok (Pharmacy)
  • Investigation of environmental Aspergillus fumigatus in Vietnam to understand azole resistance and cryptic species in the Mekong Delta, led by Justin Beardsley
  • Functional genomic analysis and DNA barcoding of pathogenic fungi for understanding fungal virulence and development of diagnostics, led by Wieland Meyer

Catchup on our FungiSphere talks

Dr Keren Cox-Witton from Wildlife Health Australia discusses White Nose Syndrome of bats. This devastating fungal infection has not yet arrived in Australia, but is sweeping Europe and the US and threatens several of our bat species with extinction if it should reach these shores.  Watch talk


Serisha Naicker from Centre of Healthcare-Associated Infections, South Africa, presents on the links between genotype, fluconazole susceptibility, and clinical outcome in isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii. She also presents her findings on virulence in a Galleria mellonella model, and temporal trends in fluconazole resistance. Watch talk

David Phalen returns to discuss his investigations into a fungal infection of wombats in this talk Emmonsielloposis in a Fossorial Australian Marsupial.  Watch talk

Stephen Stanton is a researcher based in USyd’s School of Pharmacy with an interest in developing novel mechanism of drug delivery for antifungals. His talk covers everything you need to know about reformulating with co-crystals - Fluconazole Co-Crystals: Weak interactions providing strong results. Watch talk

Dr Tien Huynh from RMIT gives an overview of some of her research interests, ranging from upcycling of industrial waster, through bioremediation, and production of medicinal products using fungal processes. Watch talk

Dr Antonio Lauto talks about the role of photodynamic therapy in managing onychomycosis - a potentially efficacious therapy that would reduce consumption of antifungal agents, and help tackle AMR emergence. Watch talk

Fungal genomics: decoding the secrets of Candida tropicalis  - in which Dr Caitlin Keighley describes the application of genomics to unravelling the reasons for the emergence of fluconazole resistance in C. tropicalis in Australia and in many regions globally.  Watch talk

Dr Johanna Rhodes from Imperial presents some of her work on antifungal resistance. What's driving antifungal resistance in the environment, and can we prove that this is leading to drug resistant infections in people? Watch talk

David has a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Chicago, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Pathobiology) from Texas A&M University. He became a member of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Avian Specialty in 1997. He taught zoo, exotic pet, and wildlife medicine to surgery in the classroom and in the clinic to veterinary students from 1993 to 2006 when he joined the faculty of the University of Sydney as the Director of the Wildlife Health and Conservation Centre and the Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital. David teaches, exotic pet husbandry and wildlife and exotic pet medicine to 3rd and 4th year DVM students. He is the unit of study coordinator for Small Animal Practice A. He supervises the research projects of PhD, honours and Research and Enquire students. His research interests are varied and include infectious, toxicological and nutritional diseases of wildlife and exotic animals and wildlife ecology and conservation.  Watch talk