Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics at the Australian Museum Research Institute
Images showing the staff at work in the DNA Labs of the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics (ACWG) at the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI). Image: Ian Bird
© Australian Museum

Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics with Dr David Alquezar

Monday 21 October at 10am & 3pm (30mins)

The Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics (ACWG) was founded by Professor Rebecca Johnson in 2012. Dr Johnson is the Chief Investigator of projects focused on wildlife forensics, aviation wildlife strike and a range of conservation genomics projects including the koala genome project. This unit is comprised of DNA laboratories and a biological tissue collection.

ACWG supports all molecular-based research carried out by the Australian Museum Research Institute and offers DNA-based molecular diagnostic services to a wide variety of external partners.

The Centre's primary focus is on ecological applications such as species identification, individualisation, conservation and small population management.

It's forensic scope covers a wide array of laboratory protocols including genomic DNA extraction, species identification, DNA sequencing and tissue sub-sampling and banking.

The Centre has experience in obtaining DNA from a range of biological samples including, tissue, bone, desiccated skin, feathers, traditional Chinese medicine and ivory.


Lamond Collection Drawer, Morpho spp. (Nymphalidae)
The drawer shown is a collection of Morpho butterflies from Brazil. The iridescent colour of the blue Morpho is due to the fine structure of the wing scales. They are part of a collection of almost 7000 butterfly and beetle specimens donated by Stephen Lamond to the Australian Museum in 1994. He presented the specimens – collected from all over the world – in a 24-drawer cabinet he himself constructed. Stephen is an amateur collector based in northern Queensland, and assembled the collection over 20 years through personal collection and exchange. Stephen donated this collection under the Cultural Gifts Program. Some of the specimens in this collection are extremely rare and, because of their quality and size, are considered very valuable on the open market. K.446318 – Drawer 7 (of 24) Image: Stuart Humphreys
© ©Australian Museum

Entomology with Derek Smith

Wednesday 23 October at 10am & 2pm (30mins)

Entomology is the study of insects including flies, cicadas, moths, earwigs, fleas, bugs, cockroaches, bees, dragonflies and termites.

Insects are animals that have a pair of antennae, six walking legs, a body divided into three parts, a skeleton outside the body and mouthparts which are adapted for particular diets.

The Australian Museum Entomology collection consists of an estimated 1.699 million specimens, mostly pinned/dry but also includes 100 microscope slides and 400,000 lots (groups of individual specimens within a species) in ethanol, of which 20 percent has been digitised. Importantly, the collection is home to 4,702 Primary Types (the reference specimen for a given species) and 14,650 Secondary Type specimens.

All hexapod arthropods are held in the collection, although the AM Entomology collection has particular strengths in Diptera (Flies), Lepidoptera (Butterflies & Moths), Psocids (bark-lice), Coleoptera Beetles) and Heteroptera (true bugs). The Australian Museum has the world's largest collections of bark lice and Australian acalyptrate flies and major collections of antlions, alderflies and beetles.

The geographic coverage is focused on NSW and Lord Howe Island, with good representative collections from the Pilbara region of WA, Papua New Guinea, the Indonesian Archipelago and some western Pacific Islands. The collection also has a good representation of butterflies from all around the world.


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