I grew up in Sydney and always enjoyed nature. My undergraduate biology degree at the University of Western Sydney took a turn towards genetics - I realised how DNA can be used to answer a range of questions in ecology and evolution, and that these answers can be applied to conservation and management. This led me to a Honours and PhD in blue whale conservation genetics at Macquarie University, Sydney, with my PhD awarded in 2014. I moved to Adelaide and became a lecturer and researcher at Flinders University in ecological, evolutionary and conservation genomics. I was a member of the Molecular Ecology Lab and the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab at Flinders. As of July 2019, I moved on to other adventures outside of Flinders but maintain my academic connections.
Total external funding AU$475,913.61, GBP19,381 and US$2,900. Total internal funding AU$16,000. Funding >$15,000:
GBP19,381. International Whaling Commission’s Southern Ocean Research Partnership (IWC-SORP), UK. 2016. Möller, Attard (chief investigators), Beheregaray (co-investigator). “Population genomic structure of Antarctic blue whales in the Antarctic feeding grounds.”
AU$43,691.88. Australian Marine Mammal Centre, Australian Antarctic Division, Department of the Environment, Australia. 2008. Möller (chief investigator), Beheregaray, Attard, Burton, Gill, Jenner, Morrice, Jenner, Double, Harcourt (co-investigators). “Unravelling the genetic structure and diversity of Balaenoptera musculus in Australia: the genetic identity of Geographe Bay blue whales.”
My professional and community engagement has centred on promoting an understanding of how DNA information can be used to improve conservation and management. This is because much of the community, scientists in other fields, and managers, do not realise how DNA knowledge can help conserve nature. I have used a range of methods to educate a broad audience and make an impact.
I have used written, spoken and visual means across TV, radio, print and online media. Briefly, I have given young children an understanding of DNA on the TV science show Scope; older children and adults through popular science magazines, speaking on radio, interviews for written articles, and talking on 60 Minutes and ABC News 24; and general scientific audiences through articles in The Conversation, Australasian Science and Wildlife Australia.
I engage with managers to apply molecular ecology to the real world. I have worked with the SA and NSW Governments to inform the management of endangered and stocked freshwater fish and to address state water needs. I was also part of the team that wrote the Australian Government’s Conservation Management Plan for the Blue Whale and have submitted research findings to the International Whaling Commission to help conserve blue whales.
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