Associate Professor Rowland Cobbold

Associate Professor

School of Veterinary Science
Faculty of Science
+61 7 54601 829


Trained as a veterinarian and gained several years of mixed animal clinical experience both in Australia and the UK. Completed a PhD in microbiology co-jointly with the University of Queensland (UQ) and CSIRO Food Science Australia, studying the epidemiology of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli in dairy cattle. Undertook a faculty position at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine for four years in a research-focussed position investigating food-borne disease epidemiology. Returned to Australia in 2005 to a teaching and research position with the UQ School Of Veterinary Science.

Research Interests

  • Zoonotic diseases
    Epidemiology (inlcuding molecular) and microbiology of zoonotic diseases (i.e. diseases transmitted from animals to humans). Specifically: Q fever; leptospirosis, antimicrobial resistance.
  • Food-borne diseases
    Control and prevention of microbial pathogens at the farm and processing levels. Specifically, using an improved understanding of the epidemiology/ecology of these pathogens to affect better control. Specific pathogens of interest include: E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, antimicrobial resistance.
  • Veterinary education
    Improving learning outcomes for veterinary students through advanced curriculum design and more effective teaching and assessment methods.
  • One Health
    The intersection of veterinary medicine, human medicine and environmental (or ecosystems) health. How human impacts and other environmental changes are associated with zoonotic disease emergence and transmission to humans.

Research Impacts

Zoonotic diseases (ie diseases transferred from animals to humans) have a large impact on public health. Eradication and on-going control of traditional zoonoses such as rabies and bovine tuberculosis are essential to assuring the health of both animal and human populations. Many zoonotic diseases, including food-borne agents such as E. coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella, are significant couses of morbidity in both industrialised and transitional countries. Developing a deeper understanding of the science behind Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs, e.g. Hendra virus) is essential to deriving improved control and prevention strategies for these significant threats. This is particularly the case for antimicrobial resistance, which is merging as a serious threat to human and animal health. The recent advent of One Health approaches to such diseases incorporates elements of ecosystems and environmental health research and management. Food safety assurance similarly has human health impacts in terms of reducing morbidity and mortality, but also has economic and societal impacts in terms of assuring the sustainability of primary production systems and the marketability of animal dervived commodities. Improved control and prevention of zoonoses and food-borne diseases is an even greater need and challenge in developing countries, where on-going focus on trans-boundary diseases and EID research and training has global impact.


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland


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