Staff profile: Dr Rebecca Johnson
- Position title:
- Acting Head, Science Services & Infrastructure
- DNA Laboratory
- +612 9320 6297
- Contact form:
Rebecca has a BSc (Hons) in genetics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in the field of molecular evolutionary genetics from La Trobe University. Rebecca has over 17 years experience as a molecular geneticist, including as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, James Cook University, Townsville and Tufts University, Boston USA.
Rebecca joined the Australian Museum in 2003 as Manager of the DNA Laboratory, later becoming Head of Research. She is now Head of the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics at the Australian Museum and Acting Head of Science Services & Infrastructure. Rebecca’s major interest is in the field of wildlife forensics and she has established the Museum as one of the global leaders in this field.
Rebecca represents the Museum on a number of government and industry committees in her area of expertise.
In her own words:
My research career began in the fascinating field of Queensland fruit fly genetics (Bactrocera sp.). I then studied and worked for several years in the incredible world of social insect genetics where I studied molecular systems of ants, honey bees and wasps.
My research at the Australian Museum mainly involves collaborative projects such as:
conservation genetics of endangered birds,
phylogenetics of other endemic and exotic species of polychaetes,
molecular investigations into native Australian bees
One of my major areas of interest is Wildlife Forensics. In our laboratory we have worked on cases for many government agencies involving:
DNA Identification of shark fins and other seized fish parts
Dried animal body parts and skins
Bones and horns
‘Birdstrikes’: DNA identification of animals that hit aeroplanes/airplanes for Australian Airports.
BSc (Hons) University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 1995
PhD Molecular Evolutionary Genetics LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia 1999
Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS)
Genetics Society of Australia (GSA)
Society for Wildlife Forensic Science (SWFS)
International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG)
- The taxonomy of the Christmas Island shrew
- Conservation of the White-fronted Chat, a declining species from threatened saltmarsh habitat
- Are some fan-worms (Sabellidae: Polychaeta) cryptic or introduced species?