Custom website photography Canberra, NSW, Australia

Rachel Iglesias

Veterinary Officer

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Rachel Iglesias a veterinarian and epidemiologist working in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. She works to protect Australia from serious animal diseases and is ready to help control disease outbreaks if they occur.

In recent years she has worked on everything from white nose-syndrome (a fungus that grows on the skin of bats while they hibernate) to African swine fever (a deadly disease of pigs that has recently spread widely in Asia). She’s even spent time working on COVID-19 and plant pests!

Rachel’s research has included comparing animal disease control strategies using models, distribution of disease risk factors in livestock populations and estimating surveillance distribution and effort. She is particularly interested in how diseases fit into natural systems and the factors that allow infectious diseases to jump to different animal species or even to humans. She is also fascinated by the history that has shaped our current systems for detecting and responding to animal diseases. She dabbles in lots of other fields like geospatial analysis, social science and risk analysis and loves learning new things that enrich her epidemiology work. The most important part of her job is translating complex ideas into simple terms to inform government policies and decisions.

Originally from Western Australia, Rachel now lives in Canberra with her husband, two daughters and a roly-poly Labrador. Get in touch with Rachel to ask about epidemiology, animal diseases or how science is used to make government policy, or just to chat about the challenges of balancing family life and a career.

Rachel Iglesias is a Superstar of STEM.