Research Contribution: My research centres on better understanding epigenetic regulation of transcription in diverse vertebrate representatives, specifically focussing on sex chromosomes dosage compensation. The ultimate goal is to understand how complex epigenetic silencing mechanisms evolved. During my PhD I focused on the gene content and evolution of marsupial Y chromosomes, and throughout my first postdoc in South Africa I focused on the genomics of Afrotheria (basal eutherian mammals; which include elephant, aardvarks, etc.).
I was awarded an ARC Discovery Project to further explore the epigenetics of vertebrate dosage compensation. The next stage of vertebrate genomics and epigenetics for my group involves much use of short read sequencing technologies.
I am currently using the Tasmanian devil to develop a technique for sequencing a whole mammal Y chromosome. For a study of dosage compensation in phylogenetically important vertebrate taxa, I have sequenced the transcriptomes from a male and female elephant, along with a male and female opossum. I use ChIP-Seq to examine the chromatin modifications associated with vertebrate dosage compensation. I have ChIP samples being sequenced from the same opossum cell lines that the transcriptomes were sequenced, which will allow me to directly correlate transcription levels with chromatin modifications on a genome wide scale, avoiding problems associated with variation between individuals and tissue type.
2014-current: Senior Lecturer, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences
2012-2014: ARC Fellow & Senior Lecturer, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences
2009-2012: ARC Fellow, Evolution Ecology & Genetics, Research School of Biology, ANU
2007-2009: Research Fellow, Comparative Genomics Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, The Australian National University
2006-2007: Postdoctoral Fellow, ARC Centre for Kangaroo Genomics, Comparative Genomics Group, Research School of Biological Science, ANU
2003-2005: Postdoctoral Fellow, Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, South Africa