Phill Cassey

Phill Cassey

Associate Professor

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Phill Cassey is an inaugural Australian Research Council Industry Laureate Fellow, and leads the Invasion Science & Wildlife Ecology Group at The University of Adelaide. He was previously Head of the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department and is an outspoken advocate for diversity and inclusion within and outside the workplace. As a global change biologist, he brings critical analytical techniques to the interdisciplinary study of environmental and wildlife crime; areas characterised by complexity and uncertainty.

Phill is a leading global change and conservation biologist. He has published extensively (>300 papers) on the conservation, transport and trade in animal species. Phill leads a research intensive laboratory at the University of Adelaide, and is an inaugural ARC Industry Laureate Fellow. He has taught extensively in ecological research and research methods, and from 2016-2021 he was the coordinator for the University of Adelaide’s Bachelor of Science Advanced program. Phill has been awarded a large number of competitive international research project and training grants (including 8 ARC Discovery and Linkage Grants/Fellowships). He is an experienced scientific communicator and regularly engages with stakeholders, media, and scientific forums.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2024 - ongoing ARC Industry Laureate Fellow University of Adelaide
    2021 - 2023 Head, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology University of Adelaide
    2015 - 2023 Assoc Professor, Environmental Biosecurity University of Adelaide
    2010 - 2014 ARC Future Fellow University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2010 RCUK Roberts Fellow University of Birmingham
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2013 Award Mid-career Research Excellence Award University of Adelaide - -
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    French Can understand spoken
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2002 Griffith University Australia PhD
    1997 University of Auckland New Zealand MSc
    1994 University of Auckland New Zealand BSc
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2006 - 2007 Postdoctoral Researcher Rutgers University, New Brunswick United States
    2004 - 2006 Leverhulme Research Felowship University of Birmingham, Birmingham United Kingdom
    2002 - 2004 CNRS Research Fellowship École Normale Supérieure, Paris France
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    1997 ATCL University College London United Kingdom
  • Research Interests

Research Funding

Since completing his PhD Phill has been awarded a large number of competitive international research project and training grants  Major external grant funding (>AU$100k) that has been successfully awarded since commencing at University of Adelaide (2010) is listed below. In addition, Phill receives State Government and University of Adelaide competitive grant and contract support.

Date Project/No. Investigators Funding Body
2018-2022 Understanding and intervening in illegal trade in non-native species Phill Cassey; Joshua Ross; Lewis Mitchell; Jeremy Austin; Jonathan Tyler; Peter Caley; David Ramsey; Lindell Andrews; Rebecca Johnson Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
2015-2018 The phylogenetics of invasions Tim Blackburn; Phill Cassey; Gavin Thomas Leverhulme Trust
2014-2016 Transport risk pathways for emerging invasive species Phill Cassey; Joshua Ross; John Drake Australian Research Council: Discovery
2012-2014 Meta-modelling of ecological, evolutionary and climatic systems dynamics Barry Brook; Corey Bradshaw; Phill Cassey; Tom Wigley; Robert Lacy Australian Research Council: Discovery
2012-2014 An integrated tool for informing pest management: modelling range shifts for an invasive vertebrate in response to climate change Damien Fordham; Phill Cassey; Barry Brook; Gregory Mutze Australian Research Council: Linkage
2010-2017 Exotic vertebrate risk analysis framework Phill Cassey; Dean Anderson Invasive Animals CRC
2009-2012 The evolution of species traits and spread during biological invasions Phill Cassey Australian Research Council: Future Fellowship

Phill was previously (2015-2021) the Faculty of Sciences Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Science Advanced degree. The BSc (Advanced) is an innovative vocational program for high-achieving students who wish to further develop their knowledge and understanding of interdisciplinary science. The program has a strong emphasis on research skill development, and ethical best-practice scientific conduct. The program provides students with the early opportunity to participate in the academic and research culture of the discipline areas they are most interested in, through small group mentoring and specialized laboratory experiences.

In addition, Phill has lectured for the 2nd and 3rd year BSc courses in the Ecology Major (Ecology II, Concepts in Ecology III, Wildlife Conservation III). Phill’s teaching in Ecology includes practical statistical workshops, and both domestic and international field courses.

  crab  waders  tracking  snakestudytour1  studytour2  studytour3



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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Principal Supervisor Invasive species and biosecurity planning in Antarctica Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Frances Perry
    2023 Principal Supervisor Ecology of Australian Sheep Blowfly, Lucilia cuprina; Knowledge to enhance eradication efforts on Kangaroo Island Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Casey Rose Gove
    2022 Principal Supervisor Untangling the Web: Dynamics of the Australian Terrestrial Invertebrate Trade Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Charlotte Rachel Lassaline
    2021 Principal Supervisor Investigating the online trade in plants Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jacob Avey Maher
    2021 Principal Supervisor Developing trace DNA detection methods for empty enclosures used in the illegal wildlife trade. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nathan Deliveyne
    2021 Principal Supervisor Drivers of the live pet trade in Australian reptiles Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sebastian Chekunov
    2016 Principal Supervisor Wildlife Trafficking and Crime in Southeast Asia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Freyja Watters
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2023 Co-Supervisor Understanding movement processes underlying camera-trap data for reliable population inference Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Meryl Tze Yin Theng
    2019 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Feather forensics: tracing Australian parrot trade with online trade analysis, stable isotopes, and citizen science Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Katherine Georgia Weston Hill
    2018 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Sustainable coffee and consumer behaviour change Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Matthew Jared Bowie
    2018 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Analysing Dynamics of the Illegal Wildlife Trade in Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Adam Toomes
    2017 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Optimal Wildlife Smuggling Interdiction Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Rachel Su Yi McLean
    2017 - 2020 Co-Supervisor CRISPR Technology Development: Gene Drives and Genome Editing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Chandran Pfitzner
    2016 - 2020 Principal Supervisor The Global Trade in Pangolin Species from Asia and Africa Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sarah Heinrich
    2015 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Integrated analysis of the movement and ecology of wild dingoes in the arid zone Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jack Tatler
    2013 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Disease ecology of low pathogenic avian influenza in the Australian environment Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Antonia Eleanor Dalziel
    2013 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Co-Evolution of Rabbits and the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) in Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Amy Rebecca Iannella
    2013 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Alien Vertebrate Risk Assessment and Invasion Pathway Modelling Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Pablo Garcia Diaz
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2019 Co-Supervisor What Makes a Dingo? Investigating the Variation in the Dingoes’ Skeletal Morphology The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Science with Honours in Ecology and Environmental Science Honours Full Time Aurelie Kanishka
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2016 - ongoing Advisory Board Member New Zealand's Biological Heritage National Science Challenge New Zealand
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Editor Biological Invasions - United States
    2014 - ongoing Editor Auk - United States
    2007 - 2016 Editor Australian Journal of Zoology - Australia
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83134042
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Benham, floor First Floor
  • Room: 106
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

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