Prof. Carolyn Hogg
Professor Carolyn Hogg has been working on the conservation of threatened species for over twenty-five years both in Australia and overseas. Carolyn is the Science Lead & Chair of the Threatened Species Initiative, as well as the co-lead of the Australasian Wildlife Genomics Group in the Faculty of Science at The University of Sydney. She works on a range of Australian threatened species including Tasmanian devils, orange-bellied parrots, koalas, bilbies and woylies. Working closely with both her academic and conservation management partners Carolyn’s vision is to create a conservation legacy for Australia by changing the way we integrate science, management and policy; to proactively promote species’ resilience in the face of a changing world. TSI is part of this by developing better tools and technologies to integrate molecular genetics into real-time conservation management decisions.
Dr. Kate Farquharson
Dr Kate Farquharson is a postdoctoral researcher at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein Science and member of the Australian Wildlife Genomics Group at the University of Sydney. She has experience in the genetic management of captive breeding and reintroduction programs. As part of the Threatened Species Initiative, Kate has developed, tested, and documented public workflows for reference genome assembly to make complex bioinformatic analysis more accessible to conservation end-users. Kate is a co-developer of the TSI portal.
Dr. Kate Quigley
Kate is a Principal Research Scientist at Minderoo Foundation, and an ARC DECRA Fellow at James Cook University and holds an adjunct research positions at the University of Western Australia.
As a molecular ecologist, her current research focusses on understanding adaptation and the genomic basis of stress tolerance and resilience of coral reef organisms across the Indo-Pacific and Indian Oceans. She uses ‘omics tools (population genomic, transcriptomic, metagenomic) and coral reproductive biology with field, experimental, and modelling methods to understand what makes some species resistant to stress while others are more vulnerable.
Professor Paul Sunnucks
Paul’s training led him to the intersection between conservation biology and evolutionary genetics. A Zoology degree at Oxford University was followed by a PhD at University College London applying genetic markers to understanding animal population biology. This prepared him for joining one of the first conservation genetics groups in the world, at the Institute of Zoology, London, applying genetics for conservation of endangered species. Since that exciting time, his career has been spent in Australia, working with many national and international collaborators applying genetic and evolutionary thinking to conservation of threatened species. Paul’s team, the Wildlife Genetic Management Group (Monash University) co-led with Sasha (Alexandra) Pavlova, works closely with wildlife management agencies and other biodiversity stakeholders, participating in threatened species policy and planning.
Paul has an inordinate fondness for all lifeforms, and with >29 PhD graduates has enjoyed working with >100 different species. Having promised himself to never write a book, his first was Frankham et al. (2017) Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations, the second was Frankham et al. (2019) A Practical Guide for Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations.
Dr. Alexandra Pavlova
I am an evolutionary biologist with a passion for biodiversity conservation and expertise in molecular ecology, genomics and genetic management. I received a Master’s in Zoology from Moscow State University and a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from the University of Minnesota.
I co-lead the Wildlife Genetic Management Group with Prof Paul Sunnucks at Monash University. My research is aimed at understanding how populations of wildlife operate and persist in natural situations and in the face of human impacts. I work with wildlife management agencies to apply this knowledge to improve conservation outcomes. A key focus is how to rapidly and efficiently apply evolutionary and genomic thinking to conservation management.
In particular, working together with our industry partners, our group co-develops genetic rescue – a useful but underutilized approach for improving health of small and isolated populations. Our work has resulted in profound impacts on how wildlife species are managed – both in Australia and internationally. Our data-driven advice helps conservationists and land managers maximise biodiversity benefits for a given investment.
I also investigate how new genomic tools can assist us in better population management and work on streamlining and upscaling our approach for ecosystems.
Dr. Lauren White
Dr Lauren C White is a molecular ecologist at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. Her research primarily uses genetic data gathered from wild animal populations to address fundamental questions on how natural selection shapes biodiversity and practical questions of how we can conserve it. She completed a PhD in ancient DNA and conservation genetics at the University of Adelaide, and a post-doc in the population and socio-genetic structure of wild chimpanzees at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. At the Arthur Rylah Institute she works across a wide range of species and diverse projects including those involving environmental DNA, population genetics, mark-recapture abundance estimation, and wildlife forensics.
Dr. Yael Rodger
I am a molecular ecologist with a passion for threatened species conservation and science communication. Throughout my academic career, I have been dedicated to exploring the potential of genomics tools to inform and support conservation actions, firmly believing in the transformative power of collaboration between researchers and practitioners. By actively engaging with wildlife managers and other stakeholders, I have successfully developed innovative solutions to real-world conservation challenges using genomics, contributing to the long-term persistence of threatened plant species. I am eager to continue to bridge the gap between research and practice to effectively conserve our planet’s biodiversity.
As a Practitioner Engagement Facilitator, I am privileged to help communicate the work of the Research Centre for Ecosystem Resilience (ReCER) team with practitioners, industry, government and community members. This research helps inform descriptions of species, plan conservation activities and prioritise actions. My role in outreach is to develop a communication method aligned with the user and to make sure the content is relevant, understandable and relatable.
My background includes science and conservation, as well as theatre and radio. I have worked variously with landholders in natural resource management, industry and more recently in research. I am currently completing a PhD in plant translocation, that is the movement of plants for conservation or as protection against development impacts. As part of my research I work closely with practitioners, develop communication materials (e.g. plantheroes.com) , and review policy. It is a joy to showcase the extraordinary work of Australian scientists and conservationists, as well as to expand this work into conservation practice.
Dr. Diana Robledo-Ruiz
Diana is a Conservation Genomicist at Monash University, Australia. She works with the Wildlife Genetic Management Group on the conservation of three endangered Australian animals: the helmeted honeyeater, the Macquarie perch and the Leadbeater’s possum. Her research focuses on using genomics to improve conservation measures, especially on the use of genetic rescue to reduce extinction risk. Diana is originally from Mexico and is passionate about science communication (check out her vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user141578283), and about supporting women and minorities in STEMM.