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Robert Puschendorf


Personal photograph uploaded by Robert Puschendorf

Dr Robert Puschendorf - ()

  • Job title: Lecturer in Animal Physiology and Health, School of Biological Sciences (Faculty of Science & Environment)
  • Address: ,
  • Telephone: +441752584658
  • Alternative telephone: +441752584658
  • Facsimile: +441752584605
  • Email:


Qualifications & background

Lecturer in Animal Physiology and Health

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Australian Research Council (2010-2013). JamesCook University, Queensland. Australia.

Ph.D (2009) James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland.

M.Sc. (2005) University of Costa Rica. San Pedro, SanJosé, Costa Rica.

B.Sc Hons (1998) EARTH University, Limón, Costa Rica. 


Teaching interests
My teaching focuses on animal physiology and Welfare. I currently teach on the following courses:

ANIM506 Animal Conservation

BIOL114 Introduction to Animal Physiology and Welfare

BIOL115 Natural History and Taxonomy

BIOL207 Animal Physiology and Health

BIOL302 Applied Conservation Biology


Research interests

My research interests surround the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the emerging infectious diseases and climate change on biodiversity loss.

Recently I have focused on the importance of environmental conditions in the frequency and likelihood of frog disease outbreaks, and the impacts on populations across different environmental gradients. Interestingly and significantly, this work has uncovered a pattern of dry forests as environmental refugia from disease driven amphibian extinctions, which is consistent across continents; in Costa Rica and tropical Australia. 


Phillips BL & Puschendorf R  (2013)  'Do pathogens become more virulent as they spread? Evidence from the amphibian declines in Central America' Proc Biol Sci  280  (1766),  p 20131290  Author Site , DOI 
Puschendorf R, Hodgson L, Alford RA, Skerratt LF & VanDerWal J  (2013)  'Underestimated ranges and overlooked refuges from amphibian chytridiomycosis' Diversiy and Distributions  19  (8),  p n/a , DOI 
Phillips BL, Puschendorf R, Vanderwal J & Alford RA  (2012)  'There is no evidence for a temporal link between pathogen arrival and frog extinctions in north-eastern Australia' PLoS One  (12),  p e52502  Author Site , DOI 
Murray KA, Retallick RWR, Puschendorf R, Skerratt LF, Rosauer D, McCallum HI, Berger L, Speare R & VanDerWal J  (2011)  'Assessing spatial patterns of disease risk to biodiversity: implications for the management of the amphibian pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis' Applied Ecology  48  (1),  pp 163 - 173 , DOI 
Puschendorf R, Hoskin CJ, Cashins SD, McDonald K, Skerratt LF, Vanderwal J & Alford RA  (2011)  'Environmental refuge from disease-driven amphibian extinction' Conserv Biol  25  (5),  pp 956 - 964  Author Site , DOI 
Januchowski-Hartley SR, Pearson RG, Puschendorf R & Rayner T  (2011)  'Fresh waters and fish diversity: distribution, protection and disturbance in tropical Australia' PLoS One  (10),  p e25846  Author Site , DOI 
Woodhams DC, Bosch J, Briggs CJ, Cashins S, Davis LR, Lauer A, Muths E, Puschendorf R, Schmidt BR, Sheafor B & Voyles J  (2011)  'Mitigating amphibian disease: strategies to maintain wild populations and control chytridiomycosis' Front Zool  (1),  p 8  Author Site , DOI 
Daskin JH, Alford RA & Puschendorf R  (2011)  'Short-term exposure to warm microhabitats could explain amphibian persistence with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis' PLoS One  (10),  p e26215  Author Site , DOI 
Puschendorf R, Carnaval AC, VanDerWal J, Zumbado-Ulate H, Chaves G, Bolanos F & Alford RA  (2009)  'Distribution models for the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Costa Rica: proposing climatic refuges as a conservation tool' Diversity and Distributions  15  (3),  pp 401 - 408 , DOI 
Puschendorf R & Bolaños F  (2006)  'Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Eleutherodactylus fitzingeri: effects of skin sample location and histologic stain' J Wildl Dis  42  (2),  pp 301 - 306  Author Site , DOI 
Pounds JA, Carnaval AC, Puschendorf R, Haddad CF & Masters KL  (2006)  'Responding to amphibian loss' Science  314  (5805),  pp 1541 - 1542  Author Site , DOI 
Pounds JA, Bustamante MR, Coloma LA, Consuegra JA, Fogden MP, Foster PN, La Marca E, Masters KL, Merino-Viteri A, Puschendorf R, Ron SR, Sánchez-Azofeifa GA, Still CJ & Young BE  (2006)  'Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming' Nature  439  (7073),  pp 161 - 167  Author Site , DOI 
Pounds JA & Puschendorf R  (2004)  'Ecology: clouded futures' Nature  427  (6970),  pp 107 - 109  Author Site , DOI