Post Doc


Nichola Calvani completed her PhD on the distribution of Fasciola spp. in Northern Laos at The University of Sydney in 2020. Frustrated by a lack of ante-mortem tools capable of species differentiation, she developed a suite of molecular diagnostic assays utilising both conventional PCR and real-time PCR, alongside innovative Next Generation Sequencing methods. In doing so, she demonstrated the presence of F. hepatica in Laos for the first time and provided insights into the occurrence and distribution of Fasciola hybrids and co-infection. Nichola loves to get her hands dirty both in the lab and in the field, spending many months of her PhD collecting samples with local farmers and extension workers. Nichola expanded her diagnostic skillset by first running the molecular diagnostic lab at USYD's Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Services before starting a technical role in the parasitology lab at New South Wales' Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute. Since joining the Molecular Parasitology Laboratory team in January 2021, she has investigated the role of antioxidant enzymes in the defence of early parasite stages against the host immune response. She has also recently launched a new social media initiative, Herminthology, that aims to profile female parasitologists at all stages of their careers to help disseminate their work and provide inspiration to the next generation of women looking to get into the field. Find out more here. In July 2023 Nichola moved back to Australia to take up a lecturer position with the University of Sydney.