Staff profile: Dr Rebecca Johnson

Position title:
Director, Australian Museum Research Institute, Science and Learning
DNA Laboratory
+612 9320 6106
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Blogs by this author


Rebecca is a Wildlife Forensic Scientist, conservation geneticist and co-chief investigator of the Koala Genome Consortium, an Australian led group carrying out sequencing of the koala genome and it’s genes for direct conservation application. In April 2015 Rebecca was announced as the Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute.

She has an honours degree from the University of Sydney and PhD from La Trobe University Melbourne in the field of molecular evolutionary genetics and has worked as a molecular geneticist, in Australia and the USA before joining the museum in 2003. Since then she has established the Museum as one of the global leaders in the field of wildlife forensics and conservation genomics through the ISO17025 accreditation of the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics facilities (one of the only fully accredited wildlife forensics laboratories in the Australasian region).

Rebecca represents the Museum on a range of government and industry committees, and is a member of the International Society for Forensic Genetics, the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science and a committee member of the NSW Branch of the Australia New Zealand forensic Science Society and an executive committee member of the Australian Aviation Wildlife Hazard Working Group. She has published her case work in the scientific literature and has also published on specific genetics applications of wildlife forensic science.

Rebecca is frequently invited to present her research both in Australia and overseas and she is especially enthusiastic about STEM education in schools, particularly to female students. She regularly presents to students and the public on the importance of wildlife forensic science and the key roles and museums and herbaria can play in making a difference to the wider community through contemporary applied science.


BSc (Hons) University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 1995

PhD Molecular Evolutionary Genetics LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia 1999


 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)

Awarded Certified Wildlife Forensic Scientist #124 by the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science

Appointed as a Wildlife Forensic Examiner by the Australian Federal Environment Minister under section 303GS(1) of Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Protection Act 1999

Professional Memberships

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)

International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG)

Research Projects

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