School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Tea tree oil research attracts significant public interest and our research has been publicised on television, radio and in the press. Below are some of the latest news and events in our research group.

The ATTIA website also has an excellent News/Media page which has regular updates on issues related to the tea tree oil industry.


  • Recruiting continues for the pilot study investigating Tea Tree Oil products for treating mild to moderate acne. Contact Kate Hammer for further information about the study.


  • An article published in January in the International Journal of Toxicology finds no evidence of estrogenic activity for lavender oil using an animal model. Click here to read the abstract in PubMed.
  • Manuscript from our group entitled "Effect of habituation to tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil on the subsequent susceptibility of Staphylococcus spp. to antimicrobials, triclosan, tea tree oil, terpinen-4-ol and carvacrol" is accepted for publication in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 


  • Response from the UWA group posted online to an original article in Lakartidningen entitled "High frequency of contact allergy caused by alternative medicine substances. Tea tree oil tops the list" (traslation from Swedish).
  • Dr Demelza Ireland has taken up a new position within the School of Women's and Infants' Health at UWA. 
  • New publications:

Topically applied Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil causes direct anti-cancer cytotoxicity in subcutaneous tumour bearing mice. Ireland DJ, Greay SJ, Hooper CM, Kissick HT, Filion P, Riley TV, Beilharz MW. J Dermatol Sci. 2012 Aug;67(2):120-9.

Use of multiparameter flow cytometry to determine the effects of monoterpenoids and phenylpropanoids on membrane polarity and permeability in staphylococci and enterococci. Hammer KA, Heel KA. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2012 Sep;40(3):239-45.

Candida albicans adhesion to human epithelial cells and polystyrene and formation of biofilm is reduced by sub-inhibitory Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) essential oil. Sudjana AN, Carson CF, Carson KC, Riley TV, Hammer KA. Med Mycol. 2012 May 15. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Dr Cornelia Hooper has taken up a new position within the School of Plant Biology at UWA. 



  • Funding received from RIRDC for a new project entitled In vitro activity and clinical efficacy of tea tree oil products against acne.


  • UWA press release about the Anticancer activity of tea tree oil
  • Drs Sara Greay and Kate Hammer presented their research at The Phytochemical Society of Europe Terpenes Symposium in Istanbul with travel support from RIRDC.