I am a molecular biologist with a strong research background in virology assay development, emerging virus discovery and ancient DNA. I have broad interests in human & animal welfare through -omics approaches that span across wildlife conservation, infectious diseases and forensic biology. In my previous roles I have used a range of Next Generation Sequencing technologies to expand on research in these areas through various biological, ecological and evolutionary based hypotheses.
My PhD focussed on the development and application of molecular methodologies to discover novel or divergent viruses from clinical samples of unknown aetiology. In continuation of this work, I subsequently studied the endogenization, evolution and causal status of the koala retrovirus (KoRV), a suspected oncogenic virus that infects the iconic native Australian species. I have additionally contributed to the field of ancient DNA genomics by participating in various studies centred on the recovery and analysis of nucleic acids from historical animal and plant specimens.
As lab manager of the ACWG my role is to oversee the diverse range of casework and research projects that employ the analysis of nucleic acids across wildlife contexts. Many of these projects are in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders with direct relevance to conservation and captive breeding management. Furthermore, I oversee the implementation of newly developed genomic techniques to expand on the Australian Museum’s research focus as an integral leader in biodiversity and conservation research.
My research interests include:
- Methods development
- Molecular ecology
- Conservation and biosecurity
- Infectious diseases
- Forensic biology
- BSc. Biotechnology (2007), University of Technology Sydney.
- PhD (2012) University of Copenhagen / Statens Serum Institut, Denmark.