Michelle McPherson

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Michelle McPherson

Associate Professor of Public Health


Associate Professor Michelle McPherson is a member of the public health team in the School of Medicine, teaching part-time on the Graduate Certificate in Health Protection. Michelle is a communicable disease epidemiologist with experience working at the state, national and international level, most recently as an Independent Consultant.


Michelle McPherson is a communicable disease epidemiologist with experience working at the state, national and international level. She has worked in several public health settings across Australia, including health departments in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia, as well as the Australian Government Department of Health. Michelle has also worked extensively for the World Health Organization in the Western Pacific Region in health security, responding to public health events and evaluating the implementation of the International Health Regulations in several countries. She has been the editor of the Western Pacific Surveillance and Response journal. Michelle has extensive teaching experience spanning public health and communicable disease epidemiology and has developed and taught workshops in these topics both locally and internationally.

In February 2020, Michelle was contracted by the Department of Health in Tasmania for the COVID-19 response team in the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC).  Michelle built the case and contact management databases, conducted staff training and provided epidemiological support to the PHEOC.  As the COVID-19 response highlighted a skills gap in Tasmania, and in most Australian states, Michelle joined UTAS part-time and is working with colleagues Nicola Stephens and Silvana Bettiol, plus colleagues from Public Health Services in Tasmania, to provide a Graduate Certificate in Health Protection at UTAS (H59).  The Graduate Certificate in Health Protection will develop professional competencies required for effective response to public health incidents in Australia, and globally.

Career summary


  • Masters of Applied Epidemiology, The Australian National University, 2007.
  • Masters of Public Health, University of Queensland, 2002. Thesis: Melanoma in Queensland: detection, delay and diagnosis.
  • Bachelor of Science/ Bachelor of Arts, The Australian National University, 1998.

View more on Ms Michelle McPherson in WARP

Fields of Research

  • Epidemiology (420299)
  • Cellular immunology (320404)
  • Public health (420699)

Research Objectives

  • Public health (excl. specific population health) (200499)
  • Other health (209999)
  • Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) (200404)


Total publications


Journal Article

(5 outputs)
2023McPherson M, Stephens N, Smith KJ, Marfori MT, Sheel M, et al., 'Serology study of healthcare workers following a hospital-based outbreak of COVID-19 in North West Tasmania, Australia, 2020', Communicable Diseases Intelligence, 47 pp. 1-11. ISSN 2209-6051 (2023) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.33321/cdi.2023.47.6 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Stephens N; Smith KJ; Marfori MT; Cooley L; Veitch M; Johnston FH


2022McPherson M, Bettiol S, Stephens N, 'Communicable diseases intelligence : upskilling the public health workforce in communicable disease control', Communicable Diseases Intelligence, 46 pp. 1-3. ISSN 2209-6051 (2022) [Letter or Note in Journal]

DOI: 10.33321/cdi.2022.46.74 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Bettiol S; Stephens N


2022Moody R, Sonda S, Johnston FH, Smith KJ, Stephens N, et al., 'Antibodies against Spike protein correlate with broad autoantigen recognition 8 months post SARS-CoV-2 exposure, and anti-calprotectin autoantibodies associated with better clinical outcomes', Frontiers in Immunology, 13 Article 152108. ISSN 1664-3224 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.945021 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Sonda S; Johnston FH; Smith KJ; Stephens N; Flanagan KL; Plebanski M


2021Johnston FH, Anderson T, Harlock M, Castree N, Parry L, et al., 'Lessons learnt from the first large outbreak of COVID-19 in health-care settings in Tasmania, Australia', Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal, 12, (4) pp. 1-7. ISSN 2094-7321 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5365/wpsar.2021.12.4.884 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Johnston FH; Marfori T; Smith KJ; Stephens N


2021Stephens N, McPherson M, Cooley L, Vanhaeften R, Wilmot M, et al., 'COVID-19: Integrating genomic and epidemiological data to inform public health interventions and policy in Tasmania, Australia', Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal, 12, (4) pp. 1-9. ISSN 2094-7321 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5365/wpsar.2021.12.4.878 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Stephens N; Cooley L; Veitch M; Johnston F