Professor Richard Whittington

Chair Farm Animal Health


1980 BVSc (Hons 1, University Medal)
1987 MACVSc
1994 PhD
2008 GAICD
2010 FASM

Career History:
1980 – 1983 Veterinary practice
1984 – 2002 NSW Agriculture
2002 – present The University of Sydney

Professional Distinctions:
2002 Ian Clunies Ross Award, Australian College of Veterinary Scientists for contributions to veterinary research
Specialist registration in Veterinary Pathobiology
Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology

Research Interests:
Richard graduated with a BVSc from The University of Sydney and spent several years in small and mixed animal practice on the NSW south coast and in the United Kingdom before undergoing training with NSW Agriculture in Veterinary Pathology. Following five years as a diagnostic pathologist Richard commenced full time research at the Veterinary Research Station, Glenfield and Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, working mainly in microbiology, virology and immunology of economically significant diseases, and completed a PhD on the immunology of Dichelobacter nodosus infection in sheep at the University of Sydney.

Richard currently leads research on the pathobiology of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, the cause of Johne’s disease in ruminants, and other infectious diseases. His research activity encompasses epidemiology, diagnostic test development and validation, biosecurity, import risk analysis for aquatic animal health, and the impact of viral infections on conservation of threatened species. Major studies involve vaccine development for D.nodosus infection in sheep, molecular studies of viruses and bacteria, immune responses and pathology in individual animals and animal populations. This aims to improve understanding of host-pathogen interactions and will lead to development of improved diagnostic tests, vaccines and other disease control strategies. This research is conducted at Camden in specialist infectious diseases laboratories and involves a large and dynamic group of young scientists, post graduate students and support staff. Richard also leads several international projects in Indonesia. He teaches in veterinary public health, microbiology, virology, pathology and ruminant and aquatic animal health.

Richard is a member of national and international scientific committees, a board member of the International Association for Paratuberculosis and an OIE-nominated technical expert on EHN virus and ranavirus.

 October 2014