Dr Rachael Rodney Harris

B. AnVetBioSc(Hons), PhD
Agricultural Innovation Training and Education Initative Lead | Lecturer - Agriculture and Food
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Animal Physiology Systems 060603
  • Animal Nutrition 070204
  • Animal Management 070203
  • Higher Education 130103
  • Epidemiology 4202

Research interests

Animal Health, Nutiriton and Reproduction - nutritional physiology (particularly in ruminants), links between livestock nutrition reproduction and health, mineral/vitamin metabolism, animal health 

Agricultural Systems - one health, climate change and agriculture, practice change/adoption, systems approaches

Epidemiology - enviornmental and disaster epidemiology, vitamin D and sun exposure

Higher Education - innovative approached to higher education, multidisciplinarity, industry partnerships, work integrated learning


Rachael is an animal health, agriculture and public health researcher and educator. She is the Innovation Training and Education Lead at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT) and convenes the Masters of Agricultural Innovation at the Fenner School of Environment and Society. At ANU we "teach ag differently" by working with industry to develop training and education programs to fill future needs gaps using cross-disciplinary approaches to address big challenges.

Her research focuses on nutritional physiology of ruminants, mineral/vitamin metabolism, animal health and epidemiology. She is also interested in the intersection of human, animal and environmental health (one health) and agriculutre and climate change.

Rachael has worked at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) at ANU where her work focused on the effects of enviornment and climate on health, particularly links between vitamin D metabolism, sun exposure and related health. She also led the ACT Bushfire Health Survey examining the holistic health and lifestyle effects of bushfire smoke.

Before joining ANU, Rachael completed her PhD with Scibus and the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, Australia, including collaboration with the University of Florida, FL. This work is focused on linkages between cattle nutrition with reproduction and health in the transition period, and effects of vitamin D supplementation in dairy cattle. Rachael has previously worked in sustainable agriculture policy and completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience in 2010 with honours (first class) in reproduction.

Researcher's projects

Rachael is exploring farmer adoption of practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculutral systems. She is researching future skills and training needs of the Australian agri-sector and how universities and industry can sucessfully integrate to meet these future needs. She also works in nutritonal physiology, particualrly related calcium and vitamin D in ruminants. Rachael is collaborating with the Hernandez Lab at University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences on projects exploring calcium physiology during the transition period of dairy cattle.

She led the ANU Bushfire Health Survey, aimed at understanding the effects of bushfire smoke on the health, lifestyle and wellbeing of residents of the ACT and surrounding region. Rachael worked on the Sun Exposure & Vitamin D Supplementation (SEDS) Study research portfolio - a Cancer Australia funded RCT looking at how we can balance sun exposure and vitmain D supplementation to best manage vitamin D deficiencies in the Australian adult population. 


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Updated:  22 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers