Associate Professor David Harley

Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Senior Fellow
 +61 2 6125 2517



BSc (Zoology, Hons I) MBBS PhD FAFPHM MMedSc (Clin Epid)


David Harley is a zoologist, general practitioner, epidemiologist and Public Health Physician. He was appointed Associate Professor at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) & The Medical School at The Australian National University in 2008.

He has a major interest in infectious disease epidemiology, particularly arboviruses. Ross River virus, Australia’s most important climate sensitive arbovirus, is a long standing interest. He is lead author on the most comprehensive review of the virus, its ecology and clinical manifestations (cited over 200 times), a large mosquito trapping study for Ross River virus isolation and an important inception cohort study of disease natural history. He has also published on tuberculosis, Adenovirus, meningococcus, dengue and malaria.

He worked as a doctor in Far North Queensland in the 1990s, gaining experience in high risk obstetrics, rural and remote medicine, Indigenous Health, and General Practice.  During 2002-7 he treated adults with intellectual disabilities in a tertiary hospital setting. He is particularly proud of his resarch on the use of antipsychotic medication for aggression - placebo is safer, cheaper and no less effective (Tyrer et al., Lancet, 2008). The general practice where he worked full-time in 2007 was awarded best general practice in the Brisbane South Division of General Practice for that year.

Since commencing at ANU he has taken on a major teaching role as chair of the population health theme at ANU medical school. He has supervised students working in infectious disease epidemiology, Indigenous health, and the health of disabled people.

Dr Harley has significant international experience and exposure.  As a consultant he has advised on outbreak investigation in Henan Province, China, vector-borne disease and climate change in Cambodia, and emerging disease surveillance in the Indian Ocean.  In 2012, 2013, and 2014 he's been invited to teach for Institut Pasteur and Oxford University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  He has major research interests in Thailand via the Thai Cohort Study.  He is CI on two NHMRC project grants worth over $2,000,000.


Research interests

  • Global and international health
  • Tropical medicine
  • Infectious diseases epidemiology
  • Vector-borne diseases, particularly arboviruses (Ross River and dengue viruses)
  • Tuberculosis
  • The health of marginalised groups, including Indigenous Australians and people with disabilities
  • In utero and early child development and health
  • Health impacts of climate change
  • Animals, including Homo sapiens


  • Sun Y, Harley D, Vally H, and Sleigh AC.Comparison of characteristics and mortality in multidrug resistant (MDR) and non-MDR tuberculosis patients in China BMC Public Health 2015, 15:1027 doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2327-8.
  • Sharmin S, Viennet E, Glass K and Harley D. The emergence of dengue in Bangladesh: epidemiology, challenges and future disease risk. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Oct;109(10):619-27. doi: 10.1093/trstmh/trv067. Epub 2015 Sep 1.
  • Viney K, Hoy D, Roth A, Kelly P, Harley D and Sleigh AC. The epidemiology of tuberculosis in the Pacific, 2000 to 2013. Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal. 2015, 6(3). doi:10.5365/wpsar.2015.6.1.001.
  • Sharmin S, Glass K,Viennet E and Harley D. Interaction of Mean Temperature and Daily Fluctuation Influences Dengue Incidence in Dhaka, Bangladesh PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. July 10, 2015. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003901.
  • Williams CR, Gill BS, Mincham G, Mohd Zaki AH, Abdullah N, Mahiyuddin WR, Ahmad R, Shahar MK, Harley D, Viennet E, Azil A and Kamaluddin A. Testing the impact of virus importation rates and future climate change on dengue activity in Malaysia using a mechanistic entomology and disease model. Epidemiology and Infection. 2015:1-9.
  • Viney K, Cavanaugh J, Kienene T, Harley D, Kelly PM, Sleigh AC, O'Connor J and Mase S.  Tuberculosis and Diabetes Mellitus in the Republic of Kiribati: A Case-Control Study Tropical Medicine and International Health. May;20(5):650-657.
  • Cavanaugh J, Viney K, Kienene T,  Harley D,  Kelly PM,  Sleigh AC, O’Connor J and Mase S. Effect of Diabetes on Tuberculosis Presentation and Outcomes in Kiribati Tropical Medicine and International Health [early online publication of accepted manuscript see].
  • Rahman KM, Samarawickrema IVM, Harley D, Olsen A, Butler CD, Sumon SA, Biswas SK, Luby SP and Sleigh AC. Performance of kala-azar surveillance in Gaffargaon subdistrict of Mymensingh, Bangladesh PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. April 10, 2015. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003531.
  • Faddy H, Dunford M, Seed C, Olds A, Harley D, Dean M, Racloz V, McCarthy S, Smith D and Flower R. Seroprevalence of antibodies to Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses: Possible Implications for Blood Transfusion Safety After Extreme Weather Events Ecohealth. Published online 24 December 2014.
  • Williams CR, Mincham G, Ritchie SA, Viennet E and Harley D. Bionomic response of Aedes aegypti to two future climate change scenarios in far north Queensland, Australia: implications for dengue outbreaks Parasites and Vectors. 2014;7:447
  • Harley D and Viennet E. Football fans and fevers: dengue and the World Cup in Brazil The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2014;S1473-3099(14):70797-2 doi:10.1016/.
  • Viennet E, Ritchie S, Faddy H, Williams C and Harley D. Epidemiology of dengue in a high-income country: a case study in Queensland, Australia. Parasites and Vectors 2014;7(379):1-16.

Updated:  21 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Executive Support Officer