Dr Amy Slender

Research Support Assistant

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

place Student Hub & Union (150)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

I am currently employed in the Lab of Evolutionary Genetics and Sociality under Assoc. Prof. Michael Gardner. This position is funded by an ARC Linkage Grant awarded to Mike to undertake research on the affects of two parapatric tick species on the divergence of Sleepy Lizard MHC.

I completed my PhD in 2018 at Flinders University under the supervision of Prof Sonia Kleindorfer and Assoc. Prof Michael Gardner. This project was to understand the molecular and ecological factors that affecting a threatened and endemic bird species, the thick-billed grasswren. I showed that two subspecies had made secondary contact and were interbreeding but gene flow was restricted possibly due to differences in habitat and behaviour.

I have a broad research background where I have worked on transgenic mouse models to determine the genetic basis of phenotypes seen in Down's Syndrome at the National Institute of Medical Research, London (now apart of the Francis Crick Institute), the immunological response of Aboriginal people with the crusted form of scabies at the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin and the efficacy of Streptoccocal vaccines in adults and children at the Centre of Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Oxford University. I completed my undergraduate degree in Sydney, NSW, where I worked on research projects on wildlife health such as in the Rufus-hare Wallaby and the Koala.


PhD in Ecology and Evolution, 2013 - 2018 (Flinders University): The ecology of gene flow between two subspecies of thick-billed grasswren (Amytornis modestus).

Honours in Biological Science, 2002, (Western Sydney University): Immunological parameters of the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).

Bachelor of Science, 1999 - 2001 (Western Sydney University): Immunohistochemistry of lymphoid tissue in the rufous hare-wallaby (Lagorchestes hirsutus).

Honours, awards and grants

2018 - Best student paper for the Australian Journal of Zoology

2013 - 2016 - Flinders University Research Scholarship

2016 - ABRS Student Travel Grant

2016 - Reserach Student Conference Travel Grant

2016 - Graduate Women SA Centenary Bursary, AFUW-SA

2016 - FUSA Development Grant

2015 - Project Grant, Nature Foundation SA

2015 - Lirabenda Endowment Fund Research Grant, Field Naturalists of SA

2015 - Travel Grant, Centre for Biodiversity Analysis

2014 - Birds SA Conservation Fund

2014 - Emu - Austral Ornithology Award, Birdlife Australia

2014 - Small Research Grant, Royal Society SA

2013 - Conservation Biology Grant, Nature Conservancy of SA

Key responsibilities

I have been working as a demonstrator on a number of topics since 2014. These include Animal Behaviour, Biodiversity and Conservation, the Ecology Field Trip, Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology, Plant and Algal Diversity and Integrative Physiology of Animals and Plants.

I am also currently working as a research assistant for Assoc. Prof. Michael Gardner where I am inducting students into the lab and helping them learn genetic techniques.