Connect with a Zoologist

Zoologist guest speaker program

Tasmania is one of the most exciting places in the world to study animals, as we have species that exist nowhere else and are unique to our island. In this session Wildlife Ecologist, Rodrigo Hamede, shares his experiences in working with Tasmanian devils and Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) over the past 15 years.

Topics covered may include a broad range of concepts such as;

  • field work,
  • handling animals and collection of biological samples,
  • how technology and non-invasive techniques such as camera traps are used in studying animal populations,
  • the many uses of these data sets in understanding wild populations,
  • infectious diseases, animal behaviour, ecological and evolutionary processes,
  • the current status of Tasmanian devil populations.


  • Suitable for Years 1 - 12
  • Expected duration of 45 - 60 mins, dependent on topic(s) covered
  • Offered online (or in person when possible in Tasmania)
  • Format includes a 15-20 minute overview of the Rodrigo’s work and career (and in some cases a demonstration), followed by a Q&A session
  • Open to all Australian schools
  • Register below to book a guest speaker for your class or school. (If your class are exploring a particular topic relating that you would like Rodrigo to focus on, please make a note of this in your registration)


Rodrigo is a Senior Lecturer in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Tasmania and has been working with Tasmanian devils for over 15 years.

He has worked on a number of behavioural, epidemiological (disease related), ecological and evolutionary problems caused by Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) throughout Tasmania. Using long-term data sets and a multidisciplinary framework he has assessed the impacts of this disease and developed models to predict epidemiological outcomes and evolutionary dynamics between devils and DFTD across wild populations.

Although Rodrigo specialises in disease ecology and epidemiology, he is often involved in collaborations with researchers from a broad range of disciplines including, genomics, immunology, veterinary medicine, cancer biology, mathematical modelling and evolutionary biology.