Professor Luciano Beheregaray


College of Science and Engineering

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

I am a Professor of Biodiversity Genomics and Research Section Lead of Ecology, Evolution and Environment at Flinders University.

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 then 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 over 220 refereed publications and graduated 21 PhDs.

I aim to offer an 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 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 to establish a long-term research program on ecological genomics of fishes.


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
  • World’s Top 2% Scientist, 2020. List by Stanford University and Elsevier based on standardized citation metrics across all scientists and disciplines.
  • ARC Future Fellow in Ecological Genomics of Fish. Australian Research Council, 2013.
  • 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.
  • Vice-Chancellor's Inaugural Award for Excellence in PhD Supervision. Flinders University, 2017.

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

  • ARC Discovery. 2019-2021 "The evolutionary potential of fragmented and declining populations" $318,000 (Beheregaray & Bernatchez)
  • ARC Linkage. 2019-2022 "Fisheries Genomics of snapper in Australia and New Zealand" $552,000 (Beheregaray, Wellenreuther, Fairclough, Fowler, Hamer, Morgan, Stewart)
  • 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)
  • Australian Marine Mammal Centre / Antartic Division 2010-2011 $330,000 (Moller et al.)
Key responsibilities

Research Section Lead - Ecology, Evolution and Environment (Flinders University)

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 ~110 PhD students enrolled at that time with 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. In 2017, the College HDR Conference replaced the Annual Conference of Postgraduate Students in the School of Biological Sciences.

Topic coordinator
BIOL3722 Conservation and Ecological Genetics
Topic lecturer
BIOL1101 Evolution of Biological Diversity
BIOL1301 Introduction to Marine Biology
Supervisory interests
Conservation biology
Evolution, aquatic animals
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Molecular Ecology (3)
Associate supervisor: Biology (6)
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

Expert for media contact
DNA studies
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
  • Evolution and Conservation of Aquatic Animals
Further information
The Conversation

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