Emeritus Professor William Breed
|Org Unit||School of Biological Sciences|
|Telephone||+61 8 8313 5743|
Emeritus Prof. Bill Breed (Retired February 2015) is a reproductive biologist whose main research focus is on the morphology and evolution of sperm, eggs and egg coats and fertilisation of Australian rodents and marsupials. He has published around 170 papers (including 2 in Nature) in morphological, zoological, and reproductive biological journals. Late in 2007 he had a book, with Fred Ford, published by the CSIRO publishing company in their Australian Natural History series entitled Native Mice and Rats.
Over the last five years he and his associates have had around 20 papers on sperm and eggs of Australian mammals. He has also published 20 review articles including one, with Prof. Brian Setchell, on mammalian male reproductive anatomy in the 3rd edition of "Knobil and Neill's Physiology of Reproduction". Bill is a past Head of The Discipline of Anatomical Sciences in The School of Medical Sciences at The University of Adelaide. He, together with his collaborators, has been largely responsible for the introduction of most of the modern microscopical techniques within the discipline including fluorescence microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and immuno-gold labelling techniques.
He was an Editorial Board Member of the journal Reproduction for 6 years and wrote, with Ken Aplin, the introduction sections on rodents in the 3rd edition of Mammals of Australia edited by S Van Dyck and R Strahan. He is a past president of the Australian Mammal Society, a research associate of the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, and a fellow of The Royal Society of South Australia.
Bill has been the major supervisor of 12 completed PhD, 1 MSc, and 53 honours student projects all the latter of whom have obtained either 1st or upper 2A degrees. At the present time he currently cosupervises 3 students studying for their PhDs at The University of Adelaide and has recently been the overseas cosupervisor of two PhD students funded by The Royal Golden Jubilee Postgraduate programme at two universities in Thailand. Bill’s present research projects include studies on co-evolution of sperm and eggs of Australian mammals and the effects of sexual selection on sperm design. His other recent studies have included investigations on sperm nuclear chromatin organisation, sperm head and tail cytoskeletal protein organisation, and the evolution of egg coat zona pellucida glycoproteins.
1965 - BSc (Hons). University of Aberdeen
1968 - D. Phil. University of Oxford
1968/1969 - University of California, Los Angeles
1969 to 1973 - University of Birmingham
Awards & Achievements
2001 - Nominated Supervisor of the Year by the Adelaide University Postgraduate Student Association
2006 - Honorary Research Associate of The Royal Zoological Society of South Australia
2010 - Elected Fellow & Honorary Life Member of The Australian Mammal Society
Recent Invited Talks
2009 - 10th International Mammalogical Congress; symposium on Reproduction in Marsupials. Mendosa, Argentina.
2009 - Symposium on Impacts of Environmental change on reproduction in wildlife at Zoological Society of London.
2010 - 4th International Conference on Rodent Biology and Management in Bloemfontain, South Africa
2013 - 11th International Mammalogical Congress; Symposium on Reproductive Competition
- Comparative mammalian reproductive biology
- Evolution of mammalian gametes and their interaction during fertilisation
- Evolution of mammalian testis
- Application of reproductive technology to conservation of mammals
- Cell biology of sperm & eggs
- Biology of small native rodents & marsupials of Australia
- Environmental control of reproduction and evolution of breeding systems in rodents
- Morphological events at time of fertilisation in mammals
- Evolution of mammalian gametes
- Coevolution of mammalian genitalia and associated reproductive behaviour
- Effect of sexual selection of gamete shape and form
- Application of reproductive technology to conservation of Australian mammals
Recipient of 12 ARC Grants between 1987 and 2003
KN Speight, Boardman W, Breed WG, Taggart DA, Woolford L, Haynes JI (2013) Pathological features of oxalate nephrosis in a population of Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in South Australia. Veterinary Pathology 50(2):299-307 doi:10.1177/0300985812456215.
W. G. Breed, C. M. Leigh, N. Speight (2012) Coevolution of the male and female reproductive tracts in an old endemic murine rodent of Australia. Journal of Zoology 289: 94 – 100
KN Speight, JI Haynes, W Boardman, WG Breed, DA Taggart, B Rich, L Woolford (2014) Plasma biochemistry and urinalysis variables of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) with and without oxalate nephrosis. Veterinary Clinical Pathology 43(2):244-54. doi: 10.1111/vcp.12145.
L Ruykys , B Breed, D Schultz, D Taggart (2013) Effects and treatment of sarcoptic mange in southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 49(2):312-20. doi: 10.7589/2012-10-256.
Fiona Dorman, Priscilla Balsamo, Chris Leigh and William G Breed (2014) Co-evolution of gametes of the Greater bandicoot Rat, Bandicota indica – a murine rodent from South-East Asia. Acta Zoologica 95: 392-396.
KN Speight, JI Haynes, W Boardman, WG Breed, D Taggart, C Leigh and B Rich (2013) Eucalyptus spp. leaf oxalate content and its implications for koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) with oxalate nephrosis. Australian Journal of Zoology 61: 366-371.
W G Breed, C M Leigh, K P Aplin, A A B Shahin, N L Avenant (2014) Morphological diversity and evolution of the spermatozoon in the mouse – related clade of rodents. Journal of Morphology 275: 540-547
S Drew, CM Leigh and WG Breed (2014) Spermatozoa of the old endemic rodents of Australia – the possible functional significance of their ventral processes. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 26: 1183-1187.
H Wechalechar, BP Setchell, KR Pilkington, C Leigh, WG Breed, EJ Peirce (2015) Effects of whole-body heat on male germ cell development and sperm motility in the laboratory mouse. Reproduction, Fertility and Development (in press)
Hanna J. McLennan, Jonathan Tuke, and William G. Breed (2015) The Gerbil Spermatozoon – interspecific variation in morphology does not invariably follow murine rodent evolutionary trends in response to predicted intermale sperm competition. Acta Zoologica (in press)
Bill Breed (2014) Australia’s other mammals-The mice and rats. Wildlife Australia 51, 10 – 14.
- Member of The Australian Mammal Society (President 1998-2000)
- Member of The American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Member of The American Society of Mammalogists
- Member of The Society of Reproduction and Fertility (UK)
- Member of The Society for Reproductive Biology (Australia) (Conference Organising Committee 1994-1996).
- Fellow of The Royal Society of South Australia
- Member of The Australian Conservation Foundation (Elected Council member 1983)
- Member of Nature Conservation Society of South Australia
Past Member of The Australasian Society for Human Biology (Chairperson of the Annual Conference Organising Committee 1993; member of Executive Committee 1994-1997)
Categories Animals & Veterinary Science, Fertility & Reproduction Expertise cell biology; reproductive biology; fertility; reproduction Notes Alt phone: (08) 8313 5743 After hours (08) 8362 1767
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Entry last updated: Sunday, 15 Jul 2018
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