Kate Hammer

Dr, BSc Murd., PhD W.Aust., FASM

  • The University of Western Australia (M504), 35 Stirling Highway, First Floor L Block, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
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Personal profile


Dr Kate Hammer completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Science at Murdoch University before coming to The University of Western Australia in 1994 to undertake a Post-Graduate Diploma of Science in microbiology. She then worked as a Research Assistant in the Tea Tree Oil group before completing her PhD on the anti-fungal activity of tea-tree oil. She is now a Lecturer at UWA.

Funding overview

AgriFutures Australia (formerly Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation)
Raine Medical Research Foundation

Current projects

Dr Connie Locher, Pharamcy, UWA
Dr Gavin Flemmatti, Chemistry, UWA
Dr Christine Carson, Microbiology, UWA
Professor Thomas Riley, Microbiology, UWA

Teaching overview

Dr Hammer is unit coordinator for a number of undergraduate and postgraduate Microbiology units.


Dr Hammer is currently researching the antibacterial activity of Australian honeys, in particular those from Western Australia.

She has previously investigated the possibility that Gram positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, could become resistant to Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil. Her tests showed that the bacteria do not acquire resistance to tea tree oil, probably because it is such a complex essential oil. Tea tree oil has over 100 components, which may make it very difficult for organisms to evolve coping mechanisms.

Research expertise keywords

  • Antifungal agents
  • Antibacterial agents
  • Antimicrobial agents
  • Bioactive plant compounds
  • Alternative therapies—infectious diseases
  • Medicinal properties of native plants
  • Plant essential oils
  • Tea tree oil
  • Honey—antimicrobial activity
  • Infectious diseases—alternative therapies


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