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Kim Blasdell is an infectious disease scientist with a focus on zoonotic pathogens. Her initial studies were in Zoology at the university of Liverpool, where she conducted an honours project on the shedding behaviour of snakes. After graduation she undertook a PhD at the same institution, studying the rodent-borne viruses, LCMV and cowpox virus, in their natural hosts. Her first position after this was as the research coordinator for Frontier's Cambodian project, which saw her living in the jungle for a year supervising volunteers and conducting biodiversity assessments. After some time spent travelling she returned to Cambodia as a postdoc at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge. Her focus this time was on rodent-borne pathogens in rapidly changing environments. As part of this project she identified two novel arenaviruses, one of which was tentatively associated with disease in humans.

Kim moved to CSIRO to start her second postdoc in 2010, changing her research focus to arboviruses, particularly those affecting cattle. During this time she developed her skills in NGS and characterised several little known arboviruses. On completion of this project she continued at CSIRO as a research scientist, continuing to study livestock-associated arboviruses, but also returning to rodent-borne viruses. In conjunction with Dr Cadhla Firth (now at EcoHealth), she conducted a project looking at the impact of urbanisation on rodent-borne pathogens. Her current research focus is on (i) understanding the transmission routes and role of possums on the ecology of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the agent of Buruli ulcer, (ii) determining the ecology of several vector-borne diseases including a novel Borrelia sp. and (iii) investigating novel technologies for the automation of pathogen surveillance in wildlife and vectors.

Other Interests

Nature and conservation;
Literature (active member of a book club);
Belly dancing;
Bush tucker (active member of a community garden)

Current Roles

  • Senior Research Scientist
    Research and project development

  • Deputy Group Leader
    For Risk & Preparedness group

Academic Qualifications

  • 2002

    Bachelor of Sciences with Honours
    The University of Liverpool

  • 2006

    The University of Liverpool

Professional Experiences

  • 2014-Present

    Taxonomic classification
    ICTV (Rhabdoviridae Study group)

Achievements and Awards

  • Mar 2020-Jan 2021

    H&B Domain + Digital award

  • Mar 2020-Dec 2020

    Chair's medal