TAGGART, Patrick

Research officer, rabbit management

Research interests

  • Wildlife ecology, conservation and management
  • Disease ecology
  • Population monitoring, estimation, modelling
  • Human-wildlife and livestock-wildlife interactions
  • Wildlife trapping and capture
  • Climate change


Pat joined the Vertebrate Pest Research Unit (Biosecurity and Food Safety) of the NSW Department of Primary Industries as a Research Officer in 2019. His primary role is to investigate interactions between RHDV2 and other RHDVs and its potential as an additional rabbit biocontrol agent.

Since 2011, Pat has worked within the field of environmental consulting and sub-contracting conducting targeted and general fauna surveys for various government and non-government organisations, both within Australian and internationally. More recently Pat completed his PhD at the University of Adelaide which investigated factors influencing the presence of cat-borne diseases in wildlife, livestock and people. Over the years, Pat has developed extensive experience in trapping, catching, handling and sampling a wide range of native and exotic wildlife.


  • PhD Wildlife and Disease Ecology – University of Adelaide (2019)
  • BSc. (Hons) (Enhanced Program for High Achievers) (Biodiversity and Conservation) – Flinders University (2015)

Current projects

  • Ecology of cat-borne diseases
  • Multi-strain dynamics and rabbit calicivirus epidemiology
  • National rabbit biocontrol optimization
  • Understanding RHDV2 interaction with other RHDVs and its potential as an additional rabbit biocontrol agent

Recent publications

Taggart, P. L., Fancourt, B. A., Fabijan, J., Peacock, D. E., Speight, K. N., Caraguel, C. G. B., & McAllister, M. M. 2019. No evidence of Toxoplasma gondii exposure in South Australian Koalas (Phascolartos cinereus). Journal of Parasitology, DOI: 10.1645/19-40

Taggart, P. L., Fancourt, B. A., Peacock, D. E., Caraguel, C. G. B., & McAllister, M. M. Variation in Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence: effects of site, sex, species and behaviour between insular and mainland macropods. Wildlife Research, DOI: 10.1071/WR19041

Taggart, P.L., Fancourt, B.A., Bengsen, A. J., Peacock, D.E., Hodgens, P., Read, J.L., McAllister, M.M, & Caraguel, C.G.B. 2019. Evidence of significantly higher island feral cat abundance compared to the adjacent mainland, Wildlife Research, DOI: 10.1071/WR18118

Taggart, P.L, Stevenson, M.A, Firestone, S.M, McAllister, M.M., & Caraguel, C.G.B. 2019. Spatial analysis of a cat-borne disease reveals that soil pH and clay content are a risk factors for sarcocystosis in sheep, Frontiers in Veterinary Science, DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00127

Taggart, P.L, Traub, R., Fui, S., & Weinstein, P. 2018. Attempting to uncover vectors of human spotted fever rickettsiosis on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia, Journal of Vector Borne Diseases, DOI:10.4103/0972-9062.249483

Taggart, P.L., Leu, S. T, Spiegel, O., Godfrey, S. S, Sih, A., & Bull, C. M. 2018. Endure your parasites: sleepy lizard movement is not affected by their ectoparasites, Canadian Journal of Zoology, DOI: 10.1139/cjz-2017-0352

Fields of research

  • 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
  • 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
  • 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
  • 060207 Population Ecology
  • Keywords/phrases list of research interests:
  • Wildlife ecology/conservation/management
  • Abundance/density estimation
  • Disease ecology/epidemiology

Contact details

Email: pat.taggart@dpi.nsw.gov.au