Biogeography and evolutionary history of our unique Australian animals

Sally Potter

Australia has unique biodiversity and amazing natural systems with which to test mechanisms driving diversification and speciation.

Dr Sally Potter is aiming to improve our understanding of the biogeographic and evolutionary history of a range of animal species across the Australian landscape. This work will ultimately lead to improved conservation and management of Australia's rich and unique diversity.

Sally uses a range of molecular techniques to understand the evolutionary patterns and processes that have shaped Australia's biodiversity:

  • in-solution exon capture methods
  • mitochondrial and nuclear sanger sequencing
  • microsatellite genotyping
  • non-invasive sampling methods

Currently Sally is a researcher in the Moritz Lab at ANU, where she using genomic approaches to understand the phylogenetic relationships and demographic history of four species of Carlia (rainbow) skink lizards across northern Australia. 

Sally is also collaborating with other CBA members and Australian Museum staff to conduct and test genomic in-solution exon capture methods on rock-wallaby museum skins from CSIRO Australian National Wildlife Collection.

These methods will assist in getting data for projects such as ongoing research on northern Australian rock-wallabies to determine the conservation status and current taxonomy within the brachyotis species complex (including the monjon and nabarlek) and involves broader collaborations with the Western Australian Museum, World Wildlife Fund, Australian Museum and Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

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