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.

Koalas in South Australia have been found to be affected by oxalate nephrosis, chlamydiosis, koala retrovirus and mange. Oxalate nephrosis is a chronic kidney disease in which crystals of calcium oxalate form in the tubules of the kidneys and cause tubule dilation, inflammation and scarring. This is associated with signs of kidney failure, such as koalas drinking lots of water and having dilute urine. Oxalate nephrosis affects many koalas in the Mount Lofty Ranges population in South Australia, but the reason for this is yet to be determined. Research to describe this disease is ongoing to increase understanding of its epidemiology and impact on populations. In addition to this research focus, Natasha has supervised many other koala disease projects including those describing prevalence and pathology of Chlamydia, koala retrovirus, thyroid gland abnormalities and sarcoptic mange infestation.


2016-17         Morris Animal Foundation Wildlife Project Grant for koala retrovirus and Chlamydia field study

2016              Nature Foundation SA grant for an Honours student project investigating genetic basis for oxalate nephrosis in koalas

2012              Nature Foundation SA grant for an Honours student project investigating koala thyroid gland structure and function

2008-09         Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment grants for koala oxalate nephrosis PhD research

Lecturer in Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology II and III, with topics including urinary system anatomy and histology, connective tissue types, respiratory system anatomy and histology, nervous system anatomy and histology, anatomy of the eye and liver histology. Involved in extensive anatomy practical session teaching and co-ordinator of the interactive learning activities (clinical case studies).

  • 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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