Associate Professor Mark Tanaka

Deputy Head of School and Director of Research
2111, L2 East, Bioscience South E26
(+612) 9385 2038
(+612) 9385 1483

ARC Future Fellow 2015-2018

Tanaka Lab website:

Professional Experience

  • 2016-current: Deputy Head of School/Director of Research, School of BABS
  • 2012-current: Associate Professor, School of BABS
  • 2007-2011: Senior Lecturer, School of BABS
  • 2002-2007: Lecturer, School of BABS
  • 2000-2002: Postdoc, Emory University, Atlanta USA

Research Contribution

My research primarily concerns the evolution and population biology of microorganisms. I use mathematical and statistical methods to study the dynamics of bacteria and viruses. A particular focus of my research is to make inferences about the transmission patterns of infectious diseases from molecular epidemiological data. This is achieved by combining explicit mathematical models with computational statistical methods to analyse molecular data sets. I have investigated key parameters in the epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis using this approach.

I have a general interest in the evolution of pathogens. Current areas include the evolution of life-history traits in viruses and the evolution of mutation rates in microbes. Another area I am developing is cultural evolution, particularly in the context of human health. I collaborate with researchers internationally and locally. Recent collaborators include Kevin Laland (St Andrews, UK), Jeremy Kendal (University of Durham, UK), Roland Regoes (ETH, Switzerland), Andrew Francis (University of Western Sydney), Scott Sisson, Miles Davenport, Ruiting Lan, Peter White and Des Cooper (UNSW). Please see the lab website for more information.

Active Research Projects


Click here for A/Professor Tanaka's publications list