Starting in January 2018, The Genetics Cat (or The G-CAT for short) is a scientific blog dedicated to sharing information and ideas relating to evolutionary and conservation genetics, academic research and the environment. Occasionally, I include posts on other adjacent topics or various ad hoc inspirations. The G-CAT is written for a broad but interested audience, and thus aims to be accessible to as many people as possible.
My research spans various subfields, but my initial background was in phylogenetics, phylogeography and biogeography – that is, how changes in the environment over millions of years have shaped the evolution of species (using genetics). For both my Honours and my PhD (based in the Molecular Ecology Lab at Flinders University (MELFU)), these questions were aimed at a group of small endangered freshwater fishes endemic to Australia – the pygmy perches. Through my PhD – completed in 2020 – I demonstrated how historical and major changes in the environment of southeast Australia shaped the evolution of pygmy perches, and the ramifications of this for our ongoing conservation efforts. These patterns were contrasting in the southwest, where long-term climatic stability allowed species to accumulate in the formation of a biodiversity hotspot.