Genetics & Genomics

The Environmental Genetics and Genomics Program brings the power of new DNA technologies to bear on central questions in ecology, evolution and environmental management. At one end of the spectrum, we engage in detailed examination of traits such as sex determination, the immune system and the role of epigenetic factors in focal taxa to unveil the mysteries surrounding the interaction of genes and the environment. At the other end of the spectrum we combine genomic trace DNA and DNA genotyping to probe the historical phylogeography of Australasian fauna and to solve problems of forensic and ecological importance.

Highlighted Projects

Diagnosing river health using invertebrate traits and DNA barcodes

The health of Australian waterways will be closely monitored through a better understanding of the organisms living in them, thanks to an IAE research project led by Assistant Professor in water science, Dr Ben Kefford. The project was awarded funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage program, and also includes IAE researchers Dr Sue

Mating into extinction

An unexpected catch in the waters of the Running River sparked research into the potential extinction of the Running River rainbow fish. In 2015 IAE Dr Peter Unmack and Curator of Fishes at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Dr Michael Hammer, were sampling for the usually supremely abundant Running River Rainbowfish.

Adding “family trees” to eucalypt conservation

Climate change will not only impact eucalypt distribution in Australia, but phylogenetic diversity (or “family trees”) as well. A startling 596 out of 657 of eucalypt species are predicted to loose suitable climate niches by 2085 according to work conducted by Dr Carlos González-Orozco and Dr Bernd Gruber of the IAE, in collaboration with a

The homeless earless dragon?

The grassland earless dragon (Tympanocyrptis pinguicolla) is a small and feisty lizard. If only it was more like its ‘dragon’ namesake perhaps the battle to preserve habitat would be successful. As it stands, the earless dragon has suffered a large decline in population size and range due to development of its grassland habitat. Once found

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