I am a Professor of Biodiversity Genetics. My main research and teaching interests are in evolution and conservation biology. I was born and raised in Uruguaiana - a town in the Pampas grassland in Brazil. In 1986, I moved to the coast to study Biological Oceanography (BSc and Msc), ichthyology and population genetics at University of Rio Grande. In 1996, I moved to Sydney for a PhD in fish evolutionary genetics, awarded by Macquarie University in 2001.
I was a Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Research Fellow at Yale University (2001-2003) working in projects in Amazonia and the Galápagos, before returning to Australia for a tenure faculty position at Macquarie. I worked at Macquarie until 2009 as Associate Professor and head of the Molecular Ecology Lab and the Molecular Ecology Group for Marine Research (MEGMAR).
In 2009, I moved to Adelaide to establish the Molecular Ecology Lab at Flinders University (MELFU). To date, we have produced around 200 refereed publications and graduated 17 PhDs.
I strive to offer the most intellectually rich and friendly research environment to my lab members; this includes an annual 3-day lab retreat in a remote coastal beach in South Australia. Notwithstanding my mid-career status, my lab's alumni have already secured highly competitive tenured track academic positions in the six inhabited continents, including jobs in Australia, USA, Japan, Austria, South Africa and Brazil.
I held an 'ARC (Australian Research Council) Future Fellowship' between 2014 and 2018, a research-only position aimed at establishing a research program on ecological genomics of fishes.
Higher Academic Qualifications
Sabbatical and Postdoctoral Experience
Over $7.2 million in competitive grants and tenders received as chief investigator (CI), including 11 ARC projects since 2005 (9 of them as lead CI). The list includes:
Head of the Molecular Ecology Lab at Flinders University (MELFU)
Head of the Molecular Ecology Group for Marine Research (MEGMAR)
Conceived and implemented the Annual Conference of Postgraduate Students in the School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University. Acted as conference chair and organizer between 2011 and 2013. This School-wide activity was implemented to assess the progress and enrich the research experience of the ~120 PhD students of the School of Biological Sciences. Its popularity and success inspired the implementation of an Annual College of Science and Engineering HDR Conference, which includes PhD students from across our College and since 2017 has replaced the Annual Conference of Postgraduate Students in the School of Biological Sciences.
DVC-R Award for Best PhD Publication - FEB 2017
Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence - MAY 2017
Keynote and plenary speaker & conference chair: over 60 presentations at universities and research institutions in Australia, USA, Canada, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand. I often chair sections and judge presentations in key scientific meetings, such as 'Evolution'.
Speaker to 30+ school, rural and coastal community groups about conservation of aquatic biodiversity, including Amazonia (Brazil), Merimbula, Byron Bay and Jervis Bay (NSW) and Port Lincoln (SA).
Headed the research and wrote the impact case study that represented the whole of biology (UoA 06) in 2018 as part of the Flinders University’s submission report for the ARC Engagement and Impact (EI), entitled ‘Conservation Management of Aquatic Resources’.
ARC Major Grants Expo: In 2011 I represented Flinders at the ARC Major Grants Expo held in the Parliament House, Canberra.
Conceived and coordinated the Annual Postgraduate Conference of the School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University. 2011-2013. This activity is now used across the College of Science and Engineering.
Flinders University mentor - Early Career Researcher Mentor Scheme
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