Available to supervise Higher Degree by Research students

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Personal profile



Ro McFarlane is an Environment and Health* academic at the University of Canberra. Her work is focused on optimising co-benefits for health in interdependent human and natural systems.

Ro brings together unique expertise from her professional experience in livestock and wildlife, ecosystem and human population health and her international collaborations to develop knowledge and education.  She completed a PhD at ANU in 2014 under supervision of Professor Tony McMichael, pioneering epidemiologist on the effects of global ecological change. She co-developed the first Masters of Ecological Public Health at the University of Canberra in 2016.

Ro has led Linking Human, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health workshops for International Union Conservation of Nature, is a contributing author to the World Health Organisation’s Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health. A State of Knowledge Review and is currently working with the International Union of Forest Research Organisations on the Impacts on Forests and People of the Sustainable Development Goals with SDG3 (Health).  Her current research is in enhancing the health linkages in ecosystem service frameworks, zoonotic disease ecology and examining the impact of quality of parks and greenspace on health and wellbeing.

Ro works extensively with community groups and government to develop landscape-level health solutions. She facilitated the declaration of the 9.8 million ha Ngaanyatjarra Indigenous Protected Area, W.A., and was an instigator of Australian Antarctic Division’s biosecurity measures to protect Antarctic wildlife from human and livestock diseases. She has a long association with Landcare in NSW, ACT and NT , Catchment Management Associations and working with schools and education bodies. She is also a parent and a farmer.


*This field is also known by the terms One Health, Planetary Health, Ecological Public Health, Ecohealth. I also have a doctoral student in One Health research


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Australian National University

… → 2014

Master, University of New England NSW

… → 2005

Bachelor, University of Sydney

… → 1989

External positions

Fellow, Frank Fenner Foundation

1 Sep 2017 → …

Visiting Fellow, Australian National University

1 Nov 20151 Nov 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ro MCFARLANE is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

infectious disease Earth & Environmental Sciences
seals Agriculture & Biology
Emerging Communicable Diseases Medicine & Life Sciences
Islands Medicine & Life Sciences
biodiversity Earth & Environmental Sciences
serodiagnosis Agriculture & Biology
agglutination tests Agriculture & Biology
Antarctica Agriculture & Biology

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1994 2019

Environmental Health, Planetary Boundaries and Limits to Growth

BUTLER, C., Higgs, K. & McFarlane, R., 2019, Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Elsevier, p. 1-11 11 p. (Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences).

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

genetically modified organism
population decline
environmental risk
health risk

Climate change, food security and population health in the Anthropocene

BUTLER, C. & MCFARLANE, R., 2018, Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene . Dellasala, D. & Goldstein, M. (eds.). Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier, p. 453-459 7 p.

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

food security
environmental change
phosphorus cycle
climate change
nitrogen cycle
1 Citation (Scopus)

Cross-cutting principles for planetary health education.

Stone, S. B., Golden, C., Myers, S. & Planetary Health Education Brainstorming Group , 2018, In : Lancet Planetary health. 2, 5, p. 192-194 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access
health promotion
1 Citation (Scopus)

Ecosystem-based translation of health research: expanding frameworks for environmental health

Mcfarlane, R., Butler, C. D., Maynard, S., Cork, S. & Weinstein, P., 2018, In : Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. p. 1-4 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Environmental Health
United Nations
Conservation of Natural Resources
11 Citations (Scopus)

Public health guide to field developments linking ecosystems, environments and health in the Anthropocene

Buse, C. G., Oestreicher, J. S., Ellis, N. R., Patrick, R., Brisbois, B., Jenkins, A. P., McKellar, K., Kingsley, J., Gislason, M., Galway, L., McFarlane, R. A., Walker, J., Frumkin, H. & Parkes, M., May 2018, In : Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 72, 5, p. 420-425 · 10.1136/jech-2017-210082.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle