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Honours in Genetics and Evolution

Welcome! To find a research area that might interest you look at the table below.

Click on laboratory leader names or photos to visit their lab websites and read more about their research. Don't hesitate to contact laboratory leaders about Honours projects, even when none are listed!

For information about Honours in Genetics and Evolution the 2017 handbook is available here.

The Sir Ronald Fisher Memorial Scholarship is available for a student who enrols in the Honours in Genetics Program.

To apply for Honours in Genetics or Evolution in the School of Biological Sciences please refer to the Faculty of Sciences' application form.

Genetics: Please contact Genetics Honours Coordinator, before applying. Prof. Robert Richards

Contact Person Research Interests and Project details

Prof Dave Adelson

Centre for Bioinformatics and Computational Genetics

  • Bioinformatics and Computational Genetics

Dr Simon Baxter

Laboratory- Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Insect Adaptation

  • Insecticide resistance in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella
  • The role of chromosomal rearrangements in speciation
  • Resolving the population history and origin of mimicry in Heliconius butterflies

Dr Anthony Borneman

Australian Wine Research Institute

  • Research Projects
  • Genomics and synthetic biology

Dr Sharon Byers

Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit

  • Mesenchymal stem cells in MPS and their use in treatment
  • Understanding osteoclast dysfunction in the MPS
  • Molecular mechanism of growth failure in MPS

Dr Tasman Daish

Genome Organisation, Epigenetics and Sex Determination Laboratory

  • Genome Organisation, Chromosome Evolution and Sex Determination in Vertebrates

Prof Josef Gecz

Neurogenetics Research Program

  • Genetics and Biology of Neurological Disorders: Intellectual Disability, Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy

Dr Stephen Gregory

Cell Division and Cancer

  • Molecular genetics of cell division

Prof Frank Grutzner

Genome Organisation, Epigenetics and Sex Determination Laboratory

  • Genome Organisation, Chromosome Evolution and Sex Determination in Vertebrates
  • Chromosome Isolation

Dr Michael Lardelli

Alzheimers Disease Genetics Laboratory

  • Alzheimer’s disease, zebrafish genetics and transgenic technologies

Dr Louise O’Keefe

Mechanisms in Human Genetic Disease Laboratory

  • Use of Drosophila as a Genetic Model to Dissect the Normal and Pathogenic Molecular Pathways Influenced by Genes Associated with Human Diseases Such as Huntington’s Disease, Cancer and Mucopolysaccharidosis Type III

Prof Robert Richards

Mechanisms in Human Genetic Disease Laboratory

  • Use of Genetics to Identify and Define the Pathogenic Pathways for Human Diseases - including the Neurodegenerative Diseases caused by Expanded Repeats (such as Huntington’s Disease) and the Contribution of Chromosomal Fragile Sites to Cancer
  • Recent focus has been on the Common Role of Innate Surveillance Mediated-Cell Death in Neurodegeneration.

Dr Iain Searle

Plant Reproductive Biology Laboratory

  • Using genetics to identify and define the role of post-transcriptional RNA modifications (epigenetics) in plant development. Skills learned- next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, RNA modification
  • Non-coding RNAs in plants
  • Genetics of plant development

A/Prof Cheryl Shoubridge

School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health

  • Molecular Neurogenetics

Evolution: Please contact Evolution Honours Coordinator, before applying. Assoc. Prof. Jeremy Austin

Contact Person Research Interests and Project details

Prof Andy Austin

Systematic, phylogenetics and evolution, of insects and other arthropods

Further information


Assoc Prof Jeremy Austin

Conservation genetics, molecular ecology, ancient DNA and forensics

  • Conservation genetics of dingos
  • Phylogeography and conservation genetics of southern Australian birds
  • Developing a Y-chr SNP-typing Next Generation Sequencing platform for human identification
  • Conservation genetics of the northern hairy-nosed wombat

Further information


Dr John Conran

Systematics and evolutionary ecology of the Australasian floral

Further information

Prof Alan Cooper

Evolutionary patterns and ancient DNA

Further information

Dr Jack da Silva

Computational Evolutionary Genetics Laboratory

  • Computational Evolutionary Genetics

Prof Steve Donnellan

Biogeography, Phylogeography & Molecular Ecology

    • Rats as surrogates for determining human history
    • Evolution of the Australian and New Guinean frog fauna
    • Mapping biodiversity values in Pilbara and Kimberley reptiles and frogs

Further information

Prof Bob Hill

Evolution of the Australian vegetation, plants and climate change, plant macrofossils

  • Stomatal protection mechanisms in Casuarinaceae
  • Evolution of photosynthetic organs in Acacia
  • Change in stomatal morphology through time at the Koonamore Reserve
  • Tropical Rainforest in Antarctic latitudes – the Golden Grove flora

Further information

Dr Marc Jones

  • The evolution of feeding apparatus and jaw muscles in agamid lizards
  • Functional and ecological implications of bite force in lizards
  • The ontogeny and evolution of skull shape in lizards
  • Bite force and fang shape evolution in snakes
  • Variation in reptile dental hard tissues
Further information

A/Prof Mike Lee

Reptile evolution, phylogenetics, Taxonomy


Prof Andy Lowe

Lowe Laboratory

Ecological and evolutionary genetics of plants

  • DNA Timber Tracking
  • Functional Restoration and Conservation
  • Continental Biogeography and Monitoring
  • Functional Vegatation Science

Further information

Prof Michelle Waycott

Plant evolution, systematics and taxonomy, ecological genetics and threatened species management Research projects are usually run in partnership with research fellows Dr Kor-jent Van Dijk and Dr Ed Biffin and in collaboration with Dr John Conran Themes

  • Systematics and evolution of the Australian flora (including taxonomy)
  • Evolution of survival strategies of plants from 'extreme environments'
  • Forensic and traditional methods of identifying plants
  • Using integrative biology (including genetics and evolutionary biology) to support management of our threatened flora
  • Biology of marine flowering plants
  • Data systems, digitisation and curation of natural history collections
School of Biological Sciences

School of Biological Sciences


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