COMTE, Sebastien

Sebastien Comte

Research interests

  • Spatial Ecology
  • Population modelling
  • Invasive species management
  • Epidemiology


Sebastien Comte is a Research Officer with the Vertebrate Pest Research Unit (Biosecurity and Food Safety) of the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Sebastien joined the VPRU team in 2019 to work on the cost-effective management of wild deer in Australia.

Sebastien has worked on evaluating pest management strategies in France (mostly focusing on red fox) for the Entente de lute contre la rage et les zoonoses, in close collaboration with the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety and the national and regional hunting and wildlife agencies. His interest in population dynamic and spatial ecology gave Sebastien the opportunity to move to Tasmania in 2014 to study the impact of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease on wild populations of the endangered Tasmanian devil in a multiscale framework, from individual to meta-population.

Over the years, Sebastien has gained extensive experience in the trapping and ethical handling of wild mammals including: voles, brown hare, red fox, Tasmanian devil, wild boar, deer and mountain ungulates.


  • B.Eng. (Natural resources management) – University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (2006)
  • M.Sc. (Ecosystems & contaminants) - University of Besancon (2013)
  • PhD (Zoology) – University of Tasmania (2019)

Current projects

  • Cost-effective management of wild deer
  • Management of deer in peri-urban landscapes

Recent publications

James S, Jennings G, Kwon YM, Stammnitz M, Fraik A, Storfer A, Comte S, Pemberton D, Fox S, Brown B, Pye R, Woods G, Lyons B, Hohenlohe P, McCallum H, Siddle HV, Thomas F, Ujvari B, Murchison E, Jones M, Hamede R. (2019). Tracing the rise of malignant cell lines: distribution, epidemiology and evolutionary interactions of two transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devils. Evolutionary Applications in press

Rosenbaum B, Reading R, Tsogtjargal G, Amgalanbaatar S, Comte S. 2019. Seasonal variation in the foraging activity of desert argali (Ovis ammon) in Mongolia. Canadian Journal of Zoology in press

Knapp J, Giraudoux P, Combes B, Umhang G, Boué F, Said-Ali Z, Aknouche S, Garcia C, Vacheyrou M, Laboissière A, Raton V, Comte S, Favier S, Demerson JM, Caillot C, Raoul F, Million L. 2018. Rural and urban distribution of wild and domestic carnivore stools in the context of Echinococcusmultilocularis environmental exposure. International Journal for Parasitology, 48 (12), 937-946

Margres MJ, Jones MJ, Epstein B, Kerlin DH, Comte S, Fox S, Fraik AK, Hendricks SA, Huxtable S, Lachish S, Lazenby B, O'Rourke SM, Stahlke AR, Wiench CG, Hamede R, Schönfeld B, McCallum H, Miller MR, Hohenlohe PA, Storfer A. 2018. Large-effect loci affect survival in Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilusharrisii) infected with a transmissible cancer. Molecular Ecology, 27, 4189-4199

Comte S, Umhang G, Raton V, Raoul F, Giraudoux P, Combes B, Boue F. 2017. Echinococcus multilocularis management by fox culling: An inappropriate paradigm. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 147, 178-185.

Umhang G, Comte S, Hormaz V, Boucher JM, Raton V, Favier S, Raoul F, Giraudoux P, Combes B, Boue F. 2016. Retrospective analyses of fox feces by real-time PCR to identify new endemic areas of Echinococcus multilocularis in France. Parasitology Research, 115 (11), 4437-4441.

Umhang G, Comte S, Raton V, Hormaz V, Boucher JM, Favier S, Combes B and Boué F. 2014. Echinococcus multilocularis in dogs from peri-urban areas: a public health challenge. Parasitology Research, 113(6), 2219-2222.

Knapp J, Million L, Mouzon L, Umhang G, Raoul F, Said Ali Z, Combes B, Comte S, Gbaguidi-Haore H, Grenouillet F and Giraudoux P. 2014. Real time PCR to detect the environmental faecal contamination by Echinococcus multilocularis from red fox stools. Veterinary Parasitology, 201 (1–2), 40-47.

Comte S, Raton V, Raoul F, Hegglin D, Giraudoux P, Deplazes P, Favier S, Gottschek D, Umhang G, Boué F and Combes B. 2013. Fox baiting against Echinococcus multilocularis: contrasted achievements among two medium size cities. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 111, 147-155.

Combes B, Comte S, Raton V, Raoul F, Boué F, Umhang G, Favier S, Dunoyer C, Woronoff N and Giraudoux P. 2012 Westward spread of Echinococcus multilocularis in foxes, France, 2005-2010. Emerging Infectious Diseases 18 (12), 2059-2062.

Umhang G, Raton V, Comte S, Hormaz V, Boucher JM, Combes B and Boué F. 2012. Echinococcus multilocularis in dogs from two French endemic areas: No evidence of infection but hazardous deworming practices. Veterinary Parasitology 188 (3-4), 301-305.

ORCID: 0000-0001-7984-8159

Fields of research

  • 050101 Ecosystem Function
  • 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
  • 050104 Landscape Ecology
  • 050206 Environmental monitoring
  • 060207 Population Ecology
  • 060801 Animal Behaviour

Australian Bureau of Statistics classifications

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Pest
  • Invasive species
  • Spatial ecology
  • Population modelling

Contact details