Professor Luciano Beheregaray

Professor

College of Science and Engineering

Research expertise

I do basic and applied research in evolution, ecology and conservation management. My work illustrates how natural history and genomics can be integrated to better understand the way organisms interact with their environment, as well as to stimulate public and government interest about the importance of managing and conserving biodiversity.

Research expertise

I do basic and applied research in evolution, ecology and conservation management. My work illustrates how natural history and genomics can be integrated to better understand the way organisms interact with their environment, as well as to stimulate public and government interest about the importance of managing and conserving biodiversity.

place Biological Sciences (019)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

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.

Qualifications

Higher Academic Qualifications

  • PhD in Evolutionary Genetics, 2001. Macquarie University, Australia
  • MSc in Biological Oceanography, 1995. University of Rio Grande, Brazil
  • BSc in Biological Oceanography, 1991. University of Rio Grande, Brazil

Sabbatical and Postdoctoral Experience

  • Sabbatical, Lab of Prof Louis Bernatchez, Universite' Laval, 2008. Quebec City, Canada
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, 2001-2003. New Haven, USA
  • Sabbatical, Lab of Dr Alex Wilson, University of Miami, 2011. Miami, USA
Honours, awards and grants
  • DG Catcheside Prize. Best PhD thesis in Genetics in Australia. Genetics Society of Australia, 2001.
  • Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Research Fellow. Yale University, 2001.
  • Vice-Chancellor's Inaugural Award for Early-Career Researcher. Flinders University, 2010.
  • ARC Future Fellow in Ecological Genomics of Fish. Australian Research Council, 2013.
  • Vice-Chancellor's Inaugural Award for Excellence in PhD Supervision. Flinders University, 2017.

Research Funding
Over $7.2 million in competitive grants received as chief investigator (CI), including 11 ARC projects since 2005 (9 of them as lead CI). The list includes:

  • ARC Discovery. 2019-2021 "The evolutionary potential of fragmented and declining populations" $318,000 (Beheregaray & Bernatchez)
  • ARC Future Fellowship. 2013-2018 "Evolution, adaptation and resilience of Australian freshwater fishes" $872,000 + $200,000 University contribution (Beheregaray)
  • ARC Discovery. 2015-2017 "Comparative Evolutionary Genomics of Australian Rainbowfishes" $466,000 (Beheregaray & Bernatchez)
  • ARC Discovery. 2011-2013 "The Genomics of Adaptation to Environmental Change in an Ecologically Important Non-model Aquatic Organism" $310,000 (Beheregaray & Bernatchez)
  • ARC Discovery. 2011-2013 "History, transport, or temperature: solving the riddle of Australia's temperate marine biodiversity" $225,000 (Beheregaray, Moller & Waters)
  • ARC Linkage. 2010-2013 "Restoration Genetics of Five Endangered Fish Species from the Murray-Darling Basin" $555,000 (Beheregaray, Harris & Adams)
  • ARC Linkage. 2011-2014 "Genomics for Persistence of Australian Freshwater Fish" $805,000 (Sunnucks, Sgro, Lintermans, Beheregaray, Allendorf, Lyon & Luikart)
  • ARC Discovery. 2005-2007 "Comparative Phylogeography and Patterns of Diversification of Amazonian Fishes" $260,000 (Beheregaray)
  • ARC Linkage. 2006-2008 "Phylogeography, Conservation Genetics and Stocking Management of Perches and Basses" $287,000 (Beheregaray & Gilligan)
  • Research Innovation Fund, Macquarie University. 2005-2006 "Molecular Ecology Group for Marine Research" $250,000 (Beheregaray, Briscoe, Frankham, Raftos, Harcourt & Williamson)
  • Australian Marine Mammal Centre - Australian Antarctic Division. 2010-2011 "Population size, structure and habitat preferences of common dolphins in South Australia" $330,000 (Moller et al.)
Key responsibilities

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.

Research expertise
Ecology
Evolutionary biology
Genetics
Other biological sciences
Research interests

My research illustrates how natural historians and molecular ecologists can contribute to our understanding of evolution and ecology and stimulate public interest about the importance of conserving biodiversity. A large component of the work carried out in my research group combines information from genomics and Earth sciences to understand the origins and evolutionary trajectories of populations, to assess the adaptive potential of populations to ongoing and predicted environmental change, and to inform conservation management.

Most of my current projects are in the areas of:

- ecological genomics: the use of genome-wide information to assess environmental correlates and adaptive potential of biodiversity (i.e. landscape genomics - also known as seascape or riverscape genomics);

- conservation and restoration genomics: the use of genetic and genomic knowledge to preserve threatened species;

- comparative phylogeography and speciation: the use of co-distributed datasets to infer population history and diversification;

- sociogenetics: the use of genetic data to understand kinship, parentage and social behavior;

- phylogenetics: the reconstruction of the tree of life.

I am particularly fascinated about understanding biogeographic scenarios and evolutionary processes underlying population divergence, adaptation and speciation in fishes.

Past and current research includes work on fishes from Amazonia, Patagonia, Pampas, and southern Africa, coastal dolphins, sperm whales and blue whales from the Indian and Pacific Oceans, giant tortoises from the Galapagos, sharks, rays and sea turtles from Mexico and central America, lizards from the Brazilian Cerrado; and wombats, sharks, bony fishes, molluscs, crustaceans, tunicates and sea-urchins from Australia.


Citation Impact:


For updated citation statistics and publications you can visit my page on Google Scholar Citations

Topic coordinator
BIOL3722 Conservation and Ecological Genetics
Topic lecturer
BIOL1101 Evolution of Biological Diversity
BIOL1301 Introduction to Marine Biology
Supervisory interests
Biogeography
Conservation biology
Evolution, aquatic animals
Genomics
Speciation
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: Molecular Ecology (3)
Associate supervisor: Biology (6)
Completion
Principal supervisor: Molecular Ecology (14)
Associate supervisor: Molecular Ecology (4)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Chris Brauer

DVC-R Award for Best PhD Publication - FEB 2017

Fabricius Domingos

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence - MAY 2017

Publications
Expert for media contact
Animals
Biodiversity
Conservation
DNA studies
Fish
Evolution and Conservation of Aquatic Animals
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Animals
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • DNA studies
  • Fish
Interests
  • Evolution and Conservation of Aquatic Animals
Further information
The Conversation

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