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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


Fungisphere presentation by A/Prof David Phalen

Investigations into Macrorhabdus ornithogaster (formerly megabacteria), an important fungal pathogen of birds

A/Professor David Phalen

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 conservati