Meet our team

The Australian Centre for Ancient DNA is home to some of the leading scientific minds in the fields of evolutionary biology, environmental change and population genetics.

Meet our team of scientists and students who are pioneering new discoveries across these exciting areas of ancient DNA research.


A/Professor Jeremy Austin

Director, ACAD

Area: Forensic, ancient DNA, conservation genetics, megafauna extinction

Jeremy's profile 

Phone: (08) 831 34557
Office: Darling building, Room 213

A/Professor Bastien Llamas

Group Leader, Molecular Anthropology

Area: Paleogenomics, Indigenous genomics

Bastien's profile

Phone: 831 30262
Office: Darling building, Room 216

Dr Vilma Perez-Godoy

Postdoctoral Researcher 

Area: Diversity and survival strategies of microbial communities in very extreme environments

Vilma's profile

Phone: (08) 831 33698
Office: Darling building, Room 205e

Dr Jamie Wood

Group Leader, Environmental Genomics

Area: Ancient terrestrial ecosystems

Jamie's profile

Phone: (08) 831 33952
Office: Darling building, Room 212b

Dr Yassine Souilmi

Group Leader, Genomics & Bioinformatics

Area: Bioinformatics

Yassine's profile

Phone: (08) 831 35565
Office: Darling building, Room 205c

Dr Gudhug Purnomo

ARC Research Associate

Area: Human population genomics

Gludhug's profile

Phone: (08) 831 33698
Office: Darling building, Room 205e

Dr Xavier Roca Rada

Postdoctoral Fellow

Area: Paleogenomics

Xavier's profile  

Phone: (08) 831 33698
Office: Darling building, Room 205e

Ms Maria Lekis

Project Coordinator - Aboriginal Heritage Project 

Email Maria

Office: Darling building, Room 205e

Ms Corinne Mensforth

Lab Coordinator 

Email Corinne

Office: Darling building, Room 205e

Robbi (Roberta) Davidson

Area: Human migration

Robbi's profile

Phone: (08) 831 38245
Office: Darling building, Room 205d

Olivia Johnson

Area: Population genetics

Olivia's profile

Phone: (08) 831 35148
Office: Darling building, Room 205a

Dawn Lewis

Area: Indigenous Genomics

Dawn's profile

Phone: (08) 831 38545
Office: Darling building, Room 205d

Caitlin Mudge

Area: Conservation genetics

Caitlin's profile

Phone: (08) 831 35148
Office: Darling building, Room 205a


Area: Paleogenomics

Leo's profile

Phone: (08) 831 38245
Office: Darling building, Room 205d

Shyamsundar (Shyam) Ravishankar

Area: Bioinformatics

Shyam's profile

Phone: (08) 831 38245
Office: Darling building, Room 205d

Colin Sobek

Area: Mammal conservation

Colin's profile

Phone: (08) 831 38245
Office: Darling building, Room 205d

Year Name                                 Award Research area
2022 Gludhug Purnomo PhD Reconstructing the population history of Wallacea and Sahul
2022 Dan Bonsu PhD Human Forensic Identification
2022 Xavier Roco Rada* PhD Human Demographic insights from paleogenetic studies of American and Iberian skeletal remains
2022 Gina Guzzo PhD Gut microbiome insights into the pathophysiology and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease
2022 Evelyn Collen PhD Post-contact evolutionary immunogenetics in Indigenous peoples of America 
2022 Adrian Oliva PhD Quantifying and reducing biases in paleogenomic research
2022 Divon Lan* PhD Demographic and evolutionary history of the first peoples of Sahul (submitted)
2022 Matilda Handsley-Davis PhD  Human ethics research
2022 Matthew Williams* PhD  Human evolution
2022 Isabelle Onley PhD  Conservation genomics and adaptive management of translocated greater stick-nest rats under climate change
2021 Alex Salis PhD Investigating faunal responses to climate and environmental change using ancient DNA from ursids
2021 Caitlin Selway PhD Human Microbiomes: Another Piece to the Puzzle for Non-communicable Diseases
2020 Luis Arriola PhD Bioinformatics
2019 Emily Skelly* PhD Processes of industrialisation influencing the human oral microbiome
2019 Oscar Estrada Santa Maria PhD Ancient plant DNA to the rescue: Unlocking crop genetic diversity from the past
2019 Yichen Liu* PhD The role of epigenetic modifications and microbiome evolution in bovid adaptation to environmental changes
2019 Graham Gower PhD Inferring the characteristics of ancient populations using bioinformatic analysis of genome-wide DNA sequencing data
2019 Felicia Bardan PhD New Forensic DNA profiling techniques for human identification
2019 Raphael Eisenhofer# PhD New and refined tools and guidelines to expand the scope and improve the reproducibility of palaeomicrobiological research
2018 Ayla Lore Van Loenen* PhD The 'next generation’ of ancient DNA research: a series of methods and approaches to improve our understanding of the evolutionary history of species in general, and European bison in particular
2018 Muslih Abdul-Aziz PhD Genomic and metagenomic alterations and impacts on disease through time using ancient DNA
2017 Andrew Farrer* PhD Ancient DNA studies of dental calculus
2017 Tim Rabanus Wallace PhD Climate-driven ecological changes through the Last Glacial Period
2017 Lauren White PhD Investigating Australian mammal extinctions and conservation using ancient DNA, population genetics and time-series analysis
2016 Guido Valverde* PhD Ancient DNA from pre-Columbian South America
2016 Oliver Wooley MSc Developing methods to process, interpret and present NGS data for end users using the Geneious platform
2016 Paul Czechowski* PhD Antarctic soil biodiversity/environmental genomics
2016 Alex Boast MSc Ancient DNA of New Zealand's extinct avifauna
2016 Jennifer Shaw* PhD Metagenomic amplicon sequencing as a rapid and high-throughput tool for aquatic biodiversity surveys
2015 Kieren Mitchell*^ PhD Using High-Throughput DNA sequencing and molecular phylogenies to investigate the evolution and biogeography of the southern hemisphere fauna
2015 Michael Herrera* PhD Genetic studies on prehistoric, translocations of chickens in the Indo-Pacific
2015 Steve Richards PhD Investigation and Application of Methods for Ancient DNA Research
2014 Denice Higgins PhD Post-mortem degradation on the ability to retrieve DNA from ancient & forensic tooth specimens
2013 Jennifer Young PhD Forensics investigation of soil samples
2013 Jessica Wadley PhD Population genetics and phylogeography of Antilopine Wallaroo using degraded DNA from scats and museum specimens
2013 Vicki Thomson PhD Using ancient DNA as an essential tool to explore past Australian biodiversity
2012 Julien Soubrier* PhD What ‘molecular’ time is it? – Use of ancient DNA to refine estimates of molecular timescales
2012 Christina Adler PhD Ancient DNA studies of human evolution
2012 Clio Der Sarkissian* PhD Mitochondrial DNA in ancient human populations of Europe. This project is also part of the National Geographic Society's 'Genographic Project'
2012 Sarah Bray PhD The evolution and genetic diversity of ancient bears
2011 Nic Rawlence PhD Palaeoecology and population demographics of the extinct New Zealand Moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes)
2008 Trevor Worthy PhD Tertiary Fossil Waterfowl (Aves: Anseriformes) of Australia and New Zealand

*Dean's commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
^University Medal for Thesis Excellence
#Postgraduate Academic Achievement Award

Linda Armbrecht

ARC Postdoctoral Researcher (DECRA), Affiliate  
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania

Research area: Sedimentary ancient DNA, marine genomics

Dr Christian Huber

Penn State University, USA

Dr Raymond Tobler

ARC DECRA Fellow, Affiliate, Australian National University, Canberra.

Research Area: Population genetics


Dr Joao Teixeira

ARC DECRA (Fellowship), Australian National University 

Affiliate/collaborator. Research area: Population genetics 

Dr Salvador Herrando-Perez

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Spain.  

Dr Wolfgang Haak

Leader, Molecular Anthropology Group
Max Plank Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany  

Research Area: Human evolution 

A/Professor Laura Weyrich

A/Professor of Anthropology at Penn State, USA 
Research Area: Microbiology

Dr Kieren Mitchell

Landcare (Manaaki Whenua) Research

Affiliate. Research area: Phylogenomics

Dr Pere Bover Arbos

Leader, Paleontology Group
Instituto Universitario de Investigacion en Ciencias Ambientales de Aragon, Spain. 

Research area: Conservation biology

Dr Raphael Eisenhofer

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Copenhagen.

Research Area: Microbiology and microbial ecology of Australian mammals

Dr Joshua Schmidt

Flinders University, South Australia