Dr. Dragana "Dana" Stanley

Senior Lecturer


Dana Stanley obtained her PhD at Victoria University, Melbourne, in the area of yeast molecular biology and mutagenesis. She then went on to work at CSIRO in the avian research group led by Professor Rob Moore. Dr Stanley is one of Australia’s highest contributors to the field in veterinary science in the area of poultry intestinal microbiota.

Dana Stanley’s research on intestinal microbiota in health and disease focuses on the role of microbiota in poultry and other agricultural animals, as well as in human disease. She is currently developing probiotics with enhanced epigenetic effects to be used in agricultural breeding stock. Complementary to the role of microbiota in health, she is investigating the role of microbiota in disease prevention especially Necrotic Enteritis and Spotty Liver Disease.

Dr Stanley established her reputation as a researcher in intestinal microbiota through long-term investigations in human health that has resulted in high impact publications. She has investigated how metabolic products from microbial fermentation of dietary fibre through metabolite-sensing receptors GPR43 and GPR109A prevent colitis (Nature Communications, 2015). Similarly, in another project she investigated the mechanisms behind microbiota-induced epigenetic effects in regulating the development of allergic airways disease (Nature Communications, 2015). Lastly her most recent manuscript published in Nature Medicine explains the role of gut microbiota in post stroke mortality. Some of her main research projects in 2017 investigate alternative antibiotic development, prostate cancer, bariatric surgery, faecal transplant purification, stroke and colitis.

Dana is currently running a microbiota research group at CQ University. Dr Stanley has brought multiple grants from industry, Poultry CRC and she holds an ARC DECRA fellowship.

Dr. Romeo Batacan Jr.

Dr Romeo Batacan Jr. graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Biology, major in Microbiology, from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB) in 1996. He then proceeded to pursue a career in Medicine at the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines Manila until 2001. After passing the national licensure exam, Dr Batacan decided to return to UPLB and join the Institute of Biological Sciences as an Assistant Professor of Microbiology from 2002 to 2007. 

 In 2010, Dr Batacan went to Australia and obtained his Biomedical Science Honours and PhD degree from the Central Queensland University.  His research explored the effect of different intensities of physical activity and diet on cardiovascular and metabolic health markers, cardiac and vascular function, and gut bacteria. The results provided insights into the distinct health outcomes produced by physical activity and diet, including the mechanisms by which these occur. 


Dr Eduardo Crisol-Martinez

Dr Eduardo Crisol-Martinez is an agricultural ecologist interested in developing sustainable farming systems to promote biodiversity conservation and the provision of ecosystem services. He has conducted research into the community ecology of wildlife in fragmented agricultural landscapes, plant-insect interactions (i.e. host-plant resistance and tolerance) and host-microbiota interactions (understanding the role of gut bacteria in the health of the host).

Eduardo graduated in agronomy at the University of Almeria (Spain) and then obtained a Masters by research in plant sciences/entomology at the University College Cork (Ireland). He has recently completed his PhD in ecology at Central Queensland University (Australia), in collaboration with Dana Stanley’s Lab. Eduardo has extensive international experience in ecology and sustainable agriculture, having worked for both the public and the privatesectors across Europe, South-east Asia, Latin America and Australia.

He has conducted research into sustainable agriculture at the Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera (IFAPA) and De Ruiter Seeds, where he worked in the development and selection of agronomic and quality traits in horticultural crops in Spain. He has also worked at the Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, Colombia) generating and disseminating site-specific agricultural recommendations to assist the decision-making process of smallholder farmers in Colombia.

Eduardo has also carried out research in ecology and conservation at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI, Philippines) and at Central Queensland University (CQU). At IRRI, he studied the physiological responses (tolerance and resistance) of hybrid and inbred (parental) rice lines to insect attack (planthoppers and stemborers). Over the last three years at CQU, he has conducted research in areas of macadamia production to understand the effect of forest fragmentation on arthropods, birds and insectivorous bats. Additionally, this work aimed to explore the pest-reduction services provided by avian communities, and also to understand their exposure to insecticide applications and potential health impacts.

Since the beginning of 2017, Eduardo is an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Stanley Research Group at CQU, where he is conducting research in microbial ecology on a project to understand the associations between intestinal bacteria and host’s performance. He also maintains strong collaborations with other institutions where he is currently studying the impacts of agrochemicals on herbivore and natural enemy populations, and the ecological engineering (i.e. ecological restoration) of rice agroecosystems.

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Ngare Wilkinson

PhD Student


Ngare is a Lardil woman from Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria and has lived there most of her life.  She graduated from CQ University in 2013 with a Bachelor in Biomedical Science. In July 2014 she commenced her PhD Applied Sciences under the supervision of Dr Dragana Stanley (CQU), Dr William Aspden(CQU), Dr. Robert Hughes (SARDI) and Professor Robert Moore (RMIT)  Ngare’s project involves the Manipulation of poultry breeding stock microbiome for epigenetic improvement. This project is funded by the Poultry CRC and CQU. She has analyzed what bacterial communities are present within the main sections of the healthy Japanese quail and produced a visual and descriptive histological representation of these sections.  Ngare is currently investigating the dynamics of bacterial colonization of gastro intestinal microbiome of Japanese quail from hatch to maturity.  Ngare’s research model has the potential to have high relevance to quail, chicken and the overall poultry industry. This research is intended to increase the production of safe, clean food, increase the growth rate and maximise exports. 

Sheeana Gongadoo

PhD Student


Sheeana Gangadoo is from originally Mauritius. She graduated from CQ University with a Bachelor’s degree in Science specialising in Analytical and Molecular Science in 2014. She was then employed by Dr. James Chapman as a research assistant at CQU focusing on areas such as nanotechnology, material science and microbiology. She is now currently a PhD research student under the supervision of Dr. Dragana Stanley (CQU), Dr. James Chapman (CQU), Dr. Robert Hughes (SARDI) and Professor Robert Moore (RMIT) where her project explores the application of nanoparticles in feed for the improved growth and development in broiler chickens. This project is funded by the Poultry CRC and CQU. She has a literature review summarising the progress and prospects of nanoparticles in chicken feed along with an article on a rapid and reproducible method to synthesise selenium nanoparticles. Her future goals include the use of nanotechnology in research towards continuous improvement of poultry performance while focusing on methodological development and analytical instrumentation performance. She believes the emerging use of nanotechnology will bring rise to new and innovative knowledge and techniques in agricultural management and farming practices. 

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Erin Donaldson

Masters Student


Erin Donaldson is originally from Rockhampton and has lived in various locations within Australia over the past 10 years. She graduated from CQ University with a Bachelor of Medical Science majoring in Biotechnology in 2016. Erin moved back to Rockhampton in July 2016 to commence a Masters by Research degree at CQU under the supervision of Dr Dragana Stanley. Her research is funded by the Australian Research Council and focuses on the manipulation of gastrointestinal microbiota in poultry with the use of select probiotic strains to improve their productivity and health. She trusts that this research will lead to great improvements in productivity of poultry with possible translation to other agricultural animals. Erin’s research will attempt to address the challenges we face as a rapidly increasing human population by providing safe and sustainable food for human consumption.


Ben Bauer

Masters Student

Ben Bauer spent the first 11 years of his career as a chef working at premier restaurants in Australia and Europe. He then began a Bachelor of Science, specialising in Analytical and Molecular Biology 2013. In January 2017, Ben began a scholarship under the supervision of Dr Dragana Stanley (CQU), Prof. Robert Moore, Prof. Kerry Walsh and Dr Surya Bhattarai, assessing the potential of oregano as a replacement to antibiotic growth promoters within the broiler industry. Ben, his wife Urszula and daughter Lily, also own an urban farm that grows several heritage crops and poultry breeds. The urban farm has been designed using a collaboration of vertical, aquaponics, organic and permaculture ideologies of farming in unity with knowledge obtained during his academic career. 


Josh McIntyre

Research Assistant


Josh Mcintyre is from California USA, he moved to Australia to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from James Cook University in 2014. During his undergrad Josh volunteered in David Millers lab where her learned how to generate recombinant proteins. He then pursued an Honours Degree in 2015 working under Prof. David Miller, Dr. David Bourne, Dr. Aurelie Moya and Dr. Yui Sato. His project looked at the coral host response to black band disease using transcriptomics. Josh then began working for Dr Dana Stanley as a research assistant at CQ University in 2016 where his work focuses on bioinformatics and microbiological studies.