Professor Colleen Lau

Professorial Research Fellow

Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 334 64747



Prof Colleen Lau is an NHMRC Fellow and Professorial Research Fellow at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research. Her areas of expertise include emerging infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, and clinical travel medicine. Her wide range of research interests include infectious disease epidemiology, spatial epidemiology and disease mapping, infectious disease surveillance and elimination, vaccinations, travel health, environmental health, and digital decision support tools. Professor Lau’s research projects focus on answering practical questions in clinical management of infectious diseases and operational questions on improving strategies to solve public health problems. She leads UQ's HERA program on Operational Research and Decision Support for Infectious Diseases (ODeSI).

Research Interests

  • Neglected Tropical Diseases
    Operational research on lymphatic filariasis elimination. Spatial epidemiology. Disease hotspots. Integrated surveillance. Pacific Islands.
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
    Leptospirosis. Arboviruses. Zoonoses. Spatial epidemiology and disease mapping. Environmental drivers of disease transmission and outbreaks.
  • Clinical Travel Medicine
    Vaccinations. Malaria prophylaxis. Health and wellbeing of travellers.
  • Digital decision support tools


  • Journal Editorial Board Member, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
  • Journal Editorial Board Member, Socio-Environmental Systems Modelling, Socio-Environmental Systems Modelling
  • Fellow, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Journal Editorial Board Member, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Journal Editorial Board Member, One Health, One Health
  • Journal Editorial Board Member, Journal of Travel Medicine, Journal of Travel Medicine
  • Honorary Academic, James Cook University, James Cook University
  • Fellow, International Society of Travel Medicine, International Society of Travel Medicine
  • Board Member, Healthy Environments and Lives (HEAL) Network, Healthy Environments and Lives (HEAL) Network
  • Honorary Academic, Australian National University, Australian National University
  • Fellow, Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, Australasian College of Tropical Medicine
  • Board Member, Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, Australasian College of Tropical Medicine
  • Member, Asia Pacific Travel Health Society, Asia Pacific Travel Health Society
  • Member, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
  • Doctor of Philosophy of Public Health, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Coursework) of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, James Cook University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Travel Medicine, James Cook University
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and Medical Science, University of Western Australia


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  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

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Available Projects

View all Available Projects


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • McGuinness, Sarah, Lau, Colleen and Leder, Karen (2023). Pacific Island Countries and Territories. Infectious Diseases: A Geographic Guide. (pp. NA-NA) Oxford, United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons.

  • Graves, Patricia, Joseph, Hayley, Coutts, Shaun P., Mayfield, Helen J., Maiava, Fuatai, Leong-Lui, Tile Ann Ah, Toelupe, Palanitina Tupuimatagi, Iosia, Vailolo Toeaso, Loau, Siatua, Pemita, Paulo, Naseri, Take, Thomsen, Robert, Berg Soto, Alvaro Berg, Burkot, Thomas R., Wood, Peter, Melrose, Wayne, Aratchige, Padmasiri, Capuano, Corinne, Kim, Sung Hye, Ozaki, Masayo, Yajima, Aya, Lammie, Patrick J., Ottesen, Eric, Hansell, Lepaitai, Baghirov, Rasul, Lau, Colleen L. and Ichimori, Kazuyo (2021). Control and elimination of lymphatic filariasis in Oceania: prevalence, geographical distribution, mass drug administration, and surveillance in Samoa, 1998–2017. Advances in parasitology. (pp. 27-73) edited by David Rollinson and Russell Stothard. San Diego, CA, United States: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/bs.apar.2021.03.002

  • English, Karen, Lau, Colleen and Jagals, Paul (2020). The unique vulnerabilities of children to environmental hazards. Early-life environmental exposure and disease: facts and perspectives. (pp. 103-112) edited by Yankai Xia. Singapore: Springer . doi: 10.1007/978-981-15-3797-4_6

  • Mileno, Maria D., Lau, Colleen, Lonks, John R., Garland, Joseph M., Sanchez, Martha C., Nau, Gerard J. and Larkin, Jerome M. (2019). Vaccines for adult travelers. Vaccinations. (pp. 163-177) edited by Gregory A. Poland. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier BV. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-323-55435-0.00010-0

  • Lau, Colleen L. (2016). Human Leptospirosis in Oceania. Neglected tropical diseases - Oceania. (pp. 177-192) edited by Alex Loukas. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-43148-2_7

  • Derne, Bonnie T., Weinstein, Philip and Lau, Colleen L. (2015). Wetlands as Sites of Exposure to Water-Borne Infectious Diseases. Wetlands and Human Health. (pp. 45-74) edited by C. Max Finlayson, Pierre Horwitz and Philip Weinstein. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-9609-5_4

  • Lau, Colleen and Weinstein, Philip (2011). Flooding and infectious disease in rural children. Climate Change and Rural Child Health. (pp. 95-108) edited by Erica Bell, Bastian M. Seidel and Joav Merrick. Hauppauge, NY, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Lau, Colleen (2008). Chikungunya fever: havoc in the West Indian Ocean Islands. Environmental change and human health: case studies I. (pp. 130-145) edited by Deon V. Canyon. Red Hill, QLD, Australia: Australasian College of Tropical Medicine.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.