Dr Mark FlintDr Mark Flint

Dr Mark Flint is Director of Vet-MARTI and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Veterinary Science at UQ. Currently in Florida, he holds a position as a Research Assistant Scientist in Coastal and Marine Sciences in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation with the University of Florida. Since 1995, Dr Flint has conducted wildlife and marine research and investigations in Australia and the USA and continues to lead active research programs in both countries.

Mark’s research areas focus on identifying prevalent and emerging diseases in marine and freshwater animal species as they relate to environmental and commercial stressors. The overarching theme to his investigations is to identify anthropogenic and natural pressures that will impact on the survivorship of species and health of the ecosystem. He takes a multi-species approach to this investigation concentrating on fauna that offer potential as a sentinel of ecohealth for their environmental niche. He is widely published on these topics in continuing education, journals and book chapters.


  • Postdoctoral Internship in Aquatic Animal Health, University of Florida, 2012
  • PhD, Veterinary Epidemiology, The University of Queensland, 2010
  • MPhil, Veterinary Physiology, The University of Queensland, 2005
  • BVSc, Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, The University of Queensland, 2005
  • MApplSc, Behavioral Ecology, The University of Queensland, 2000
  • BSc(Hons), Ecology, University of Tasmania, 1997
  • BSc, Zoology and Environmental Geography, University of Tasmania, 1996



Dr Paul MillsProfessor Paul Mills

Paul Mills is Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology in the School of Veterinary Science and a veterinary surgeon with 25 years’ experience in veterinary pharmacology, therapeutics and disease control in Australia, the UK, and Europe.

Prof Mills' current research areas focus on therapeutics in marine species and establishing the disease processes leading to marine animal morbidity and mortality. He is the regional coordinator for disease investigation and strandings of marine wildlife and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Marine Mammal Strandings in Queensland.

Prof Mills advises on all research aspects of Vet-MARTI.


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Assoc. Prof. Janet Patterson-KaneProfessor Janet Patterson-Kane


Dr. Patterson-Kane is an anatomic veterinary pathologist, working for IDEXX Laboratories Inc., and currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is board-certified in anatomic pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and has more than 15 years experience as a pathologist and researcher in the USA, UK and Australia. This has included significant case-loads in wildlife and zoological pathology, for both University and private sector veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Currently, Dr. Patterson-Kane examines reptile, fish and marine mammal biopsy and post-mortem specimens for IDEXX.

Dr. Patterson-Kane’s current research interests include wound healing, fibroblast biology, and cancer biomarkers, in addition to comparative pathology. She is a member of the Editorial board for the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.




Adj. Assoc. Prof. Colin LimpusAdjunct Associate Professor Colin Limpus

Dr Limpus is Chief Scientist, Aquatic Threatened Species and Threatening Processes, Environment and Resource Sciences Division, Department of Environment and Resource Management and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Veterinary Science. Since 1976, Dr Limpus has conducted pioneering conservation and management research and education programs in marine turtles in Australia as well as in the USA, West Indies, Central America, Greece, South Africa, Oman, Saudi Arabia, India, Southeast Asia, southwest Pacific and Japan.

Dr Limpus’ current research focuses on the environmental impacts, ecology, population dynamics and conservation of long-lived, delayed maturity reptiles such as marine turtles, cloacal ventilating freshwater turtles and crocodiles, sea birds and dugongs.

Dr Limpus advises on and participates in all ecological aspects of Vet-MARTI’s charter.



Dr Helen OwenDr Helen Owen

Dr Owen is a lecturer in veterinary pathology in the School of Veterinary Sciences and a veterinary pathologist with 9 years’ experience, both in Australia and the UK. Her current interests in this field include pathological investigation of dugong mortality and turtle histopathology.


  • DACVP: 2014
  • MANZCVS (pathobiology): 2008
  • PhD: Murdoch University 2008
  • BSc BVMS: Murdoch University 1999



Postgraduate Students

Dr Amber GilletDr Amber Gillett

Graduating in 2005, Dr Gillett is a full time senior wildlife veterinarian and co-ordinator of veterinary research at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital at Beerwah. Amber's daily duties include triage, clinical care and surgical intervention on a range of native Australian terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species, including koalas, sea turtles and sea snakes.

In mid-2010, Amber started a Masters of Philosophy part time in a Veterinary Science program through Vet-MARTI. In mid-2014 this was upgraded to PhD which is due for completion in 2016. Her research is examining disease, morbidity and mortality of stranded Australian marine snakes (Hydrophiini) from Bundaberg to the Gold Coast, Australia. Her research to date has provided publications on comprehensive health assessments in sea snakes and haematological and biochemical reference ranges for three species of sea snake found in Australian waters. Further investigation of diseases and causes of strandings in sea snakes is currently being undertaken. She has recently co-authored a chapter on veterinary care of venomous reptiles and lectured on sea snake medicine and disease through an internationally attended webinar.

Amber’s interests include wildlife disease and pathology, epidemiology and clinical application of research findings.



Jay Flint

Jay Flint

Jaylene Flint is a marine biologist with over a decade experience working with sea turtles. Before joining UQ, she worked for the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage’s Queensland Turtle Conservation Project and is a qualified secondary school teacher in science and marine biology.

In early 2014, Jaylene started a PhD program through Vet-MARTI. Her research is examining “The effectiveness of rehabilitation post catastrophic environmental events as a conservation strategy for marine turtles”. Her research hopes to provide a guide for use by rehabilitation centres and first responders to marine turtle strandings that will enable them to be better prepared for increases in marine turtle strandings post catastrophic environmental events.

Jaylene is also currently an Intern in Coastal and Marine Sciences with the Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation where she is developing an ongoing research program.

Jaylene’s interests include marine turtle conservation, education and research and how these disciplines can be better combined.


GradDipEd, Secondary Marine Biology and Science, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2010
BSc, Marine and Wildlife Biology, Griffith University, 2006



Jay Flint

Phoebe Chapman

Graduating in 2004, Phoebe spent six years working as an ecologist for a private environmental consulting firm. During this time, she provided advice to private industry and government clients as the primary scientist on a range of major residential, mining, and infrastructure projects. She has undertaken flora and fauna surveys and prepared impact assessments and management plans for threatened species and ecosystems within a range of terrestrial and marine environments throughout Queensland and New South Wales.

In 2012 Phoebe commenced her ARC-Linkage funded PhD project through Vet-MARTI. Her research is centred on the parasitic causes of neurological disease in marine turtles, with a focus on the spirorchiid family of trematodes. She aims to use molecular techniques to explore species diversity within the spirorchiids and characterise relationships between species and host pathology, ultimately leading to the development of non-invasive ante-mortem diagnostics.


BSc (Hons), Marine Biology/Zoology, University of Queensland 2004



Jay Flint

Kayla Ripple

Kayla earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science and Biology from The University of Tampa in May 2012. During her undergraduate experience and after graduation, Kayla volunteered with many organizations including The Florida Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Reef Environmental Education Foundation, and Coral Restoration Foundation. In 2013, Kayla joined Coral Restoration Foundation as the Nursery Program Manager where she now directs day-to-day operations of the foundation’s offshore coral nurseries and the development of new programs and techniques to enhance nursery growth methods and genetic diversity of threatened coral species to be used in restoration programs.

She is currently a Masters candidate at the University of Florida in the Fisheries and Aquatic Science program. Her research aims to better understand the fundamental gaps in knowledge of the basic biology and relationship of two critical Florida Keys reef species- staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) and the long-spined sea urchin (Diadema antillarum). The project hopes to fill in these knowledge gaps to enable a more holistic approach to restoration methods for degraded reefs in the Florida Keys and throughout the Caribbean.