Natasha Speight

Dr Natasha Speight


School of Animal and Veterinary Science

Faculty of Sciences

Dr Natasha Speight is a lecturer at the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and is a registered veterinarian. Her current research focuses on the biology, health and diseases of South Australian populations of koalas, particularly oxalate nephrosis.

Chlamydial disease in koalas is devastating populations of koalas on the east coast of Australia. Our research has shown that Chlamydial infection is common in koalas in the Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia, but causes little disease in these koalas (Speight et al, 2016; Fabijan et al, 2019a). Kangaroo Island koalas have been shown to be Chlamydia pecorum- free, making them a large isolated population of negative koalas (Fabijan et al, 2019a). Koala retrovirus infects many South Australian koalas (Fabijan et al, 2019b), but research is continuing to understand the impact on koalas (Sarker et al, 2019). Mount Lofty Ranges koalas are also affected by sarcoptic mange, caused by a mite that burrows into the skin causing crusty lesions (Speight et al, 2017), and oxalate nephrosis, a disease in which calcium oxalate crystals are deposited in the kidneys leading to renal dysfunction (Speight et al, 2013;2014). The cause of oxalate nephrosis is under investigation for the contribution of various factors including dietary oxalate (Speight et al, 2013), climate (Speight et al, 2018) and gut bacteria (Speight et al, 2019).

Morris Animal Foundation, USA: Prevalence studies of Chlamydia and retrovirus in SA koalas

Nature Foundation SA: Oxalate nephrosis in koalas

Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment: Oxalate nephrosis in koalas

Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology II

Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology III

Anatomy for Veterinary Technologists

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Principal Supervisor Oxalate Nephrosis in Koalas Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Kyneta Bhoola
    2016 Co-Supervisor Molecular Pathogenesis of Oncogenesis in KoRV Infected Koalas Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Tamsyn Louise Stephenson
    2015 Co-Supervisor The Koala Retrovirus and Chlamydia pecorum in the Koala Population in the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Jessica Helen Fabijan
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2008 - ongoing Member Wildlife Disease Association Australia
    2008 - ongoing Member Australian Mammal Society Australia
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83130655
  • Email:
  • Fax: 8313 7956
  • Campus: Roseworthy
  • Building: Corridor Block, floor G
  • Room: G 02
  • Org Unit: School of Animal and Veterinary Science

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