Emma Sawyers

Research interests

  • Wild rabbit management, monitoring, behaviour and disease transmission
  • Management and monitoring of invasive red-eared slider turtles in NSW
  • Citizen science - wild dog genetics and dingo purity, rabbit calici virus, FeralScan
  • Recording and responding to invasive animal incursion reports


Emma Sawyers has worked as a technical officer for the Vertebrate Pest Research Unit since 2015. Emma has been involved in several national major research programs, including the rollout of the biocontrol program for rabbits (2017), which received a national biosecurity award (2019). Emma has also been involved in the NSW wild dog genetics program, implementing citizen science to determining relatedness between wild dogs at a landscape scale. Emma is developing the NSW first red-eared slider turtle management guidelines, determining known and unknown aspects of their ecology, engaging agencies to investigate multiple detection and trapping methods as well as developing a management training package for landholders. More recently, Emma has been assisting the FeralScan program, aiding the community and stakeholders in mapping pest animals nationally.


  • BA Environmental Science - University of Canberra (2015)
  • BSc (Hons) Animal and Veterinary Bioscience- University of Queensland (2018)

Current projects

  • Monitoring, surveillance and management of red-eared slider turtles in NSW
  • Community education of red-eared slider turtles
  • Community and stakeholder support for FeralScan

Selected recent publications

Sawyers, E., Cox, T., Fleming, P. & Leung, L. (2018) Social interactions of juvenile rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and their role in transmitting calicivirus (unpublished honours thesis). Gatton, QLD: University of Queensland.

Fields of research

  • 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
  • 060505 Mycology

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Pest animal control
  • Vertebrate pest
  • Citizen science

Contact details