TODD, Jessica

Jessica Todd

Research interests

  • Wildlife monitoring
  • Predator ecology and management
  • Human-wildlife interactions
  • Disease transmission dynamics


Jessica started working with pest animals and plants in 2009, as a Research Officer with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences. In 2016, she completed her PhD, which focused on improving Australia’s preparedness for a rabies incursion and subsequent outbreak. Since then, Jessica has conducted research on domestic dog movements in New South Wales and Queensland, fox and feral pig management in New South Wales and individual identification of predators (wild dogs, foxes and feral cats) to aid management decisions.


  • Ph.D. (Rabies Disease Dynamics) – University of New England  2016
  • Grad Cert Public Admin – University of Canberra  2009
  • B.An.Vet.Bio.Sci(Hons) – University of Sydney  2008

Current projects

  • Individual identification of feral cats from camera trap images


Bengsen, A. J., Sparkes, J., Sharp, T. and McLeod, S. R. (2019) Scientific Evaluation of Hunting in NSW State Forests. Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Orange NSW

Meek, P., Ballard, G.A., Sparkes, J., Robinson, M., Nesbitt, B. and Fleming, P. (2018). Camera trap theft and vandalism: occurrence, cost, prevention and implications for wildlife research and management. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. 5. 10.1002/rse2.96.

Fleming, P.J.S., Nolan, H., Jackson, S.M., Ballard, G., Bengsen, A., Brown, W.Y., Meek, P.D., Mifsud, G., Pal, S.K. and Sparkes, J (2017) Roles for the Canidae in food webs reviewed: Where do they fit? Food Webs

Bengsen, A. and Sparkes, J (2016) Can recreational hunting contribute to pest mammal control on public land in Australia? Mammal Review 46(4): 297-310.

Sparkes, J., Ballard, G., Fleming, P.J.S., van de Ven, R and Körtner, G (2016) Contact rates of wild-living and domestic dog populations in Australia: a new approach. Oecologia 182: 1007-1018

Sparkes, J., McLeod, S., Ballard, G., Fleming, P.J.S., Körtner, G and Brown, W.Y (2016) Rabies disease dynamics in naïve dog populations in Australia. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 131: 127-136.

Sparkes, J., Ballard, G and Fleming, P.J.S (2016) Cooperative hunting between humans and domestic dogs in eastern and northern Australia. Wildlife Research 43: 20-26.

Sparkes, J., Fleming, P.J.S., Ballard, G., Scott-Orr, H., Durr, S. and Ward, M.P. (2015) Canine rabies in Australia: A review of preparedness and research needs. Zoonoses and Public Health 62: 237-253.

Sparkes, J., Körtner, G., Ballard, G., Fleming P.J.S. and Brown, W.Y (2014) Effects of sex and reproductive state on interactions between free-roaming domestic dogs. PLoS ONE 9: e116053.

Sparkes, J., Ballard, G., Fleming, P.J.S. and Brown, W. (2014) Social, conservation and economic implications of rabies in Australia. Australian Zoologist doi:

Sparkes, J., Ballard, G. and Fleming, P (2013) Sandplot and Remote Camera Comparison, Bundjalung National Park May 2013: Report to National Parks & Wildlife Service, Alstonville Office. NSW Department of Primary Industries, Armidale

Sparkes, J. and Stoutjesdijk, P. (2011) ‘Biochar: Implications for agricultural productivity,’ Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra, Australia

Sparkes, J., Nikolova, S., Yainshet, A., Walcott, J., Gray, J., Heyhoe, E., Bruce, S., White, S., King, K., Eady, S. (2011) Science and Economics Insights: Options for on-farm mitigation of greenhouse gases in Australia, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra

Raphael, B., Baker, J., Tennant, P., Sparkes, J., McCowen, S. (2010) ‘Stakeholder perceptions of the Weeds of National Significance Program and progress against individual species plans’, Bureau of Rural Sciences, Canberra, Australia

Sparkes, J.L.; Chaves, A.V.; Fung, Y.T.E.; van Ekris, I.; Bush, R.D. (2010) Effects of replacing lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) hay with fresh citrus pulp on ruminal fermentation and ewe performance. Asian–Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 23: 197-204

Fung, Y.T.E.; Sparkes, J.L.; van Ekris, I.; Chaves, A.V.; Bush, R.D. (2010) Effects of feeding fresh citrus pulp to Merino wethers on wool growth and animal performance. Animal Production Science 50: 52–58.

Professional associations and activities

  • Australasian Wildlife Management Society
  • The Australian Mammal Society

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Feral cat
  • Fox
  • Dingo
  • Wildlife management
  • Invasive species management
  • Human-Wildlife Interactions
  • Disease transmission
  • Contact rates

Contact details