Contact-image
Position
Senior Research Scientist (Conservation Genetics)
Address
Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Fraser Avenue
Kings Park Western Australia 6005
Email
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone
(+61 8) 9480 3673
Fax
(+61 8) 9480 3641

Research themes

  • Conservation genetics
  • Restoration genetics
  • Molecular ecology
  • Plant mating systems
  • Dispersal of seed and pollen
  • Provenance

Academic background

I commenced as Conservation Geneticist at Kings Park and Botanic Garden in November 1998. Prior to that, I spent 3 years as an ARC funded post-doctoral fellow in the School of Botany and Zoology, ANU, Canberra. There, I applied new molecular markers (AFLP) for the novel assessment of paternity in natural populations of Persoonia mollis (Proteaceae). I used these markers to address the role of post-pollination sexual selection in male reproductive success, and to characterise in more detail than previously possible realised pollen dispersal. Before that, I taught botany at the University of Sydney for 2 years, which followed on from graduating with my PhD from the University of Wollongong in 1994. There, under the supervision of Prof Rob Whelan, Prof David Ayre and Dr Peter Weston, I undertook an ecological genetic study of evolutionary pattern and process in the complex species Persoonia mollis. Between graduating with first class Honsfrom the University of Sydney in 1987, and commencing my PhD in 1990, I worked with Drs Barbara Briggs and Lawrie Johnson on a taxonomic revision of the Restionaceae at the National Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

At Kings Park and Botanic Garden I head up the Conservation Genetics team and we are largely focused on achieving practical conservation and ecological restoration outcomes from molecular research. My research interests continue to be in evolutionary processes such as mating, pollen dispersal and long-distance dispersal of seed, as well as the assessment of spatial genetic structure and variation within species, and largely in a conservation and/or ecological restoration context. This extends to the assessment of clonality, and the assessment of genetic erosion, especially as it relates to threatened species recovery, and the quantification of impacts on rare plant species, especially from mining, on population genetic variation and process. A new focus is on the genetic assessment of the functionality of restored populations, through an assessment of mating and delivery of pollinator services. A key application of research on spatial genetic structure is the contribution that it can make to the delineation of local provenance seed collection zones for ecological restoration, and much of my research is focused around the practical contribution that genetics can make towards best-practice guidelines for seed sourcing for restoration. I have also applied genetic tools such as DNA fingerprinting and DNA sequencing for more effective outcomes in native plant breeding programs.

Major projects

Current

  • The evolution and conservation consequences of promiscuity in plants pollinated by vertebrates. ARC Discovery grant. Collaborators: Prof Stephen Hopper (UWA), Dr Ryan Phillips (ANU), Dr Dave Roberts (UWA).
  • Defining biologically significant units in spinifex (Triodia spp.) for improved ecological restoration in arid Australia. Collaborators: A/Prof Pauline Grierson (UWA), A/Prof Chuck Price (UWA), Prof Kinglsey Dixon (BGPA), Dr Kevin Thiele (DEC), Dr Matt Barrett (UWA/BGPA). Industry partners: Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, Rio TInto, BGPA, DEC.
  • Ecological and genetic connectivity in seagrasses: the role of sexual reproduction, dispersal and recruitment on meadow restoration. ARC linkage project. Collaborators: Prof Gary Kendrick (UWA), Dr Liz Sinclair (UWA/BGPA).
  • Dispersal and persistence of large-seeded forest species under global environmental change. ARC Discovery grant. Collaborators: Prof Neal Enright (Murdoch U), Prof Ran Nathan (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Prof Byron Lamont (Curtin U).
  • Managing evolutionary ecological process in restoring Banksia woodland resilient to global environmental changes. ARC Linkage grant. Collaborators: Prof Richard Hobbs (UWA), Prof Kingsley Dixon (BGPA). Industry partner: Rocla, BGPA.
  • Genetic composition of key tree species at Weeli Wolli Creek. Rio Tinto. Collaborators: Dr Paul Nevill (BGPA).

Past

  • Establishing genetic guidelines for the effective restoration of seagrass meadows. ARC Linkage grant. Collaborators: Prof Gary Kendrick (UWA), Prof Kingsley Dixon (BGPA), A/Prof Michelle Waycott (JCU), Dr Liz Sinclair (UWA/BGPA). Industry partners: Cockburn Cement, DEC, BGPA.
  • A multidisciplinary research program to assess limiting factors and predict impacts of climate change for endangered Australian orchids. ARC Linkage grant. Collaborators: Prof Rod Peakall (ANU), Prof Kingsley Dixon (BGPA), Prof Linde (ANU), Prof Barrow (ANU), Prof Ghisalberti (UWA), Prof Hutchinson (ANU). Industry partner: BGPA.
  • A molecular ecophysiological assessment of the importance of using local provenance seed in plant biodiversity restoration. ARC linkage grant. Collaborators: Prof Hans Lambers (UWA), Dr Erik Veneklaas (UWA), Dr John Koch (Alcoa). Industry partners: Alcoa World Alumina Australia, Worsley Alumina, Greening Australia, BGPA.
  • Assessment of population genetic variation and structure of Acacia karina, and it’s phylogenetic relationship to other Acacia species. Collaborators: Dr Paul Nevill (BGPA). Industry partner: Karara Mining Ltd.
  • Population genetic variation and its spatial structure in Tetratheca erubescens (Elaeocarpaceae). Collaborator: Dr Janet Anthony (BGPA). Industry partner: Cliffs Natural Resources.
  • Quantifying long-distance seed dispersal and its role in the metapopulation dynamics of plants with contrasting life histories. ARC Discovery grant. Collaborators: Prof Byron Lamont (Curtin University), Prof Neal Enright (Melbourne University), Dr TianHua He (BGPA).
  • Rapid genetic delineation of local provenance for effective restoration of urban bushland remnants. ARC Linkage grant. Collaborators: Prof Richard Hobbs (Murdoch University), Dr Liz Sinclair (BGPA/Murdoch). Industry partner: BGPA.
  • Rapid delineation of genetic provenance for rehabilitation and revegetation of native plant communities. ARC Linkage grant. Collaborator: Prof Mike Johnson (UWA). Industry partners: BGPA, LandCare Services Pty Ltd.
  • A biological basis for the efficient breeding of native plants for export markets: a case study with the Australian Goodeniaceae. ARC Linkage grant. Collaborators: Prof John Considine (UWA), Dr Peter Weston (RBG SYD), Dr Kelly Shepherd. Industry partners: BGPA, AgWA.
  • Managing the evolutionary potential of fragmented native plant populations. ARC Discovery grant. Collaborators: Dr Steve Hopper (BGPA), Dr David Coates (CALM).
  • An integrated research program focused on practical outcomes for the ex situ and in situ conservation, restoration and translocation of the DRF Tetratheca paynterae (Tremandaceae). Collaborators: Dr Penny Butcher (BGPA). Industry partner: Portman Iron Ore.
  • Population genetics of DRF Ricinocarpos brevis. Collaborators: Dr Janet Anthony (BGPA). Industry partner: Cliffs Natural Resources.

Research associates, post-docs and students

Current

Research associates and post-docs
  • Dr Janet Anthony (Genetics Lab Manager; 2005 - present) The evolution and conservation consequences of promiscuity in plants pollinated by vertebrates. The evolution and conservation consequences of promiscuity in plants pollinated by vertebrates.
  • Dr Liz Sinclair (2004 - present) The evolution and conservation consequences of promiscuity in plants pollinated by vertebrates.
  • Dr Matt Barrett (2005 - present) Defining biologically significant units in spinifex (Triodia spp.) for improved ecological restoration in arid Australia.
  • Dr Paul Nevill (2009 - present) Assessment of population genetic variation and structure of Acacia karina, and its phylogenetic relationship to other Acacia species. Genetic composition of key tree species at Weeli Wolli Creek.
  • Dr Carole Elliott (2012 - present) Dispersal and persistence of large-seeded forest species under global environmental change.
  • Dr Dave Roberts (2014 - present) The evolution and conservation consequences of promiscuity in plants pollinated by vertebrates.
PhD
  • Alison Ritchie (PhD; 2010 - present) A genetic assessment of ecological restoration success.
  • Tanya Hevroy (PhD; 2010 - present) Molecular systematics and conservation genetics of the Grevillea thelemanniana group (Proteaceae).
  • Mark Wallace (PhD; 2007 - present) Genetic and morphological variation of sympatric Lepidosperma sedges (Cyperaceae) in south-west Western Australia.
  • Ms Anna Williams (PhD; 2012 - present) Conservation genetics of mid-west Western Australian Acacia species using whole-genome sequencing.
  • Mr Ben Anderson (PhD; 2012 - present) Diversity in the Triodia basedowii E.Pritz. species complex and its implications for the evolution of the Australian arid zone biota.
Honours
  • Ms Nicole Bezemer (Hons; 2014) Evolutionary and conservation consequences of bird pollination in Eucalyptus caesia.
  • Ms Bronwyn Ayre (Hons; 2014) Management of genetic erosion in translocated populations of Grevillea scapigera.
  • Ms Jamie Chan (Hons; 2014) Outbreeding depression in Stylidium hispidum: implications for seed sourcing for restoration.
  • Ms Melanie Britton (Hons; 2014) Impacts of changed watering regime on mating systems in Eucalyptus camaldulensis.

Past

Research associates and post-docs
  • Dr Ann Smithson (2007 - 2012) A molecular ecophysiological assessment of the importance of using local provenance seed in plant biodiversity restoration.
  • Dr Kristina Hufford (2007 - 2010) A molecular ecophysiological assessment of the importance of using local provenance seed in plant biodiversity restoration.
  • Dr Penny Butcher (2004 - 2008) An integrated research program focused on practical outcomes for the ex situ and in situ conservation restoration and translocation of the DRF Tetratheca paynterae (Tremandaceae).
PhD
  • Jessica Stingemore (PhD; 2014) Plant density effects on dispersal and genetic structure for two co-occurring Persoonia species.
  • Michalie Foley (PhD; 2014) Fragmentation effects on population viability in Banksia ilicifolia.
  • Donna Bradbury (PhD; 2013) The power of population genomics to identify functionally important genetic variation and its utility for the conservation of tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala DC).
  • Dr Eleanor O’Brien (PhD; 2008) Delineation of genetic provenance and its significance for restoration of native plant communities.
  • Dr Matt Barrett (PhD; 2006) Molecular ecology of Chamelaucium uncinatum (Myrtaceae) and related species, and applications to plant breeding and conservation.
  • Dr Bambang Heliyanto (PhD; 2006) The ecological genetic consequences of local endemism and natural population fragmentation in Banksia ilicifolia (Proteaceae).
  • Dr Kacung Hariyono (PhD; 2001 - 2003) Propagation and genetic variability of Corynanthera flava, an endemic yellow-flowered myrtle.
  • Dr Grace Zawko (PhD; 1998 - 2002) Genetic diversity of selected rare and endangered plants with special reference to conservation and management within the context of a mining operation.
  • Dr Julia Mattner (PhD; 1997 - 2002) The conservation biology of Hemigenia exilis (Lamiaceae), a serpentine endemic from the arid zone of Western Australia.
Honours
  • Ms Alyssa Weinstein (Hons; 2013 - 2014) Cryptic speciation in Drakaea livida (Orchidaceae) and its implications for conservation.
  • Mr Ryan Tangney (Hons; 2012 - 2013) Long distance seed disperser impacts on spatial genetic structure and distribution of Leucopogon nutans.
  • Ms Caitlin Pascov (Hons; 2013) Realised pollen and seed dispersal inferred from parentage analysis in the banded iron stone endemic Acacia karina.
  • Christopher Poulton (Hons; 2011 - 2012) The role of emus as long distance dispersers of seed on the spatial genetic structure of Leucopogon nutans.
  • Rachael Wheeler (Hons; 2012) Hybridisation in tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala DC).
  • Ilena Gecan (Hons; 2012) Realized pollen dispersal in the seagrass Posidonia australis.
  • Karen Frick (Hons; 2012) A genetic assessment of restoration success with Banksia menziessii.
  • Anna Williams (Hons; 2011) Comparative phylogeography of two Western Australian Acacia species.
  • Josef Krawiec (Hons; 2010 - 2011) Genetic connectivity of skink populations within and among bushland remnants in Perth.
  • Louisa Cockram (Hons; 2010 - 2011) Testing home-site advantage and outbreeding depression using Stylidium hispidum: seed sourcing implications for ecological restoration.
  • Alison Ritchie (Hons; 2010) Realized mating patterns of Banksia attenuata: contrasting restored and natural populations.
  • Esther Kow (Hons; 2009 - 2010) The breeding and mating system of the declared rare flora, Darwinia masonii (Myrtaceae).
  • Laura Merwin (Hons (Fullbright Scholarship); 2008 - 2009) Long distance dispersal of seed in Banksia candolleana.
  • Rachel Omodei (Hons; 2008) Realised pollen dispersal in Banksia attenuata (Proteaceae) – a departure from typically nearest neighbour mating?
  • Michalie Foley (Hons; 2005 - 2006) Genetic erosion and inbreeding depression in translocated populations of Grevillea scapigera.
  • Donna Bradbury (Hons; 2005 - 2006) Genetic provenance delineation and seed biology of Scaevola crassifolia.
  • Luke Barrett (Hons; 2003) Genetic analysis of realised mating patterns over 9 years in Banksia hookeriana.
  • Erika Alacs (Hons; 2001) Conservation genetics of the quokka Setonix brachyurus.
  • Jillian Abery (Hons; 2001) Conservation genetics of the rare and endangered Grevillea scapigera (Proteaceae).

Selected publications

Krauss SL (2000) Accurate gene diversity estimates from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Molecular Ecology 9: 1241-1245. A first detailed assessment of AFLP variation finding that gene diversity estimates (allelic frequency, heterozygosity) from this dominant marker technique can be accurate in outcrossing plant populations.

Krauss SL (1999) Complete exclusion of nonsires in an analysis of paternity in a natural plant population using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). Molecular Ecology 7:217-226. One of the first applications of AFLP for paternity assignment in a natural plant population, revealing realized mating and pollen dispersal patterns in more detail than previously possible.

He T, Krauss SL, Lamont BB, Miller BP and Enright NJ (2004) Long distance seed dispersal in a metapopulation of Banksia attenuata inferred from a population allocation analysis of Amplified Fragment Length Polypmorphism data. Molecular Ecology 13:1099-1109. A first application of population assignment analysis from AFLP data to infer and quantify the distance and frequency of long distance seed dispersal within a plant metapopulation.

Zawko G, Krauss SL, Dixon KW and Sivasithamparam K (2001) Conservation genetics of the rare and endangered Leucopogon obtectus (Ericaceae). Molecular Ecology 10:2389-2396. An assessment of the conservation implications of genetic diversity within the endangered Leucopogon obtectus – an example of a practical contribution to conservation from conservation genetics.

Bradbury D, Smithson A and Krauss SL (2013) Signatures of diversifying selection at EST-SSR loci and association with climate in natural Eucalyptus populations. Molecular Ecology 22:5112-5129. A first assessment of non-neutral genetic variation within and among natural populations of a Western Australian eucalypt, and association with climatic variables.

Kendrick GA, Waycott M, Carruthers T, Cambridge M, Hovey R, Krauss S, Lavery P, Les D, Lowe R, Mascaró O, Ooi Lea Sim J, Orth RJ, Rivers D, Ruiz-Montoya L, Sinclair E, Statton J, Van Dijk K and Verduin J (2012) The central role of dispersal in the maintenance and persistence of seagrass populations. BioScience 62:56-65. A wide ranging review of the nature, extent and role of dispersal in seagrasses.

Lamont BB, He T, Enright NJ, Krauss SL and Miller BP (2003) Anthropogenic disturbance promotes hybridisation between Banksia species by altering their biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 16:551-557. An identification of the significance of disturbance for the promotion of hybridization among closely related species, which was subsequently recognized by the journal Nature.

Williams AV, Nevill PG and Krauss SL (2014) Next generation restoration genetics: applications and opportunities. Trends in Plant Science 19:529-537. A review of restoration genetics, and in particular the opportunities and application of Next Generation Sequencing methods to improved restoration outcomes.

Krauss SL and Koch JM (2004) Rapid genetic delineation of provenance for plant community restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology 41:1162-1173. A novel application of AFLP and spatial autocorrelation analysis for the rapid genetic delineation of local provenance to inform seed sourcing decisions for ecological restoration.

Krauss SL, Dixon B and Dixon KW (2000) Rapid genetic decline in a translocated population of the endangered plant Grevillea scapigera. Conservation Biology 16:986-994. A powerful assessment of rapid genetic erosion in a translocated population of a rare species to highlight genetic risks associated with poor genetic management with species recovery.

O’Brien EK, Mazanec RA and Krauss SL (2007) Provenance variation of ecologically important traits of forest trees: implications for restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology 44:583-593. A unique and powerful study assessing a 20-year old provenance trial for a SW Western Australian forest tree in the context of seed sourcing for ecological restoration.

Barrett LG, He T, Lamont BB and Krauss SL (2005) Temporal patterns of genetic variation across a 9-year-old aerial seed bank of the shrub Banksia hookeriana (Proteaceae). Molecular Ecology 14:4169-4179. Seizing the unique opportunity presented by B. hookeriana retaining its seeds until a fire, this project assessed genetic variation in the products of each of 9 years of mating, showing that the timing and frequency of fire has little impact on future genetic variation.

See Siegy's full list of publications on Google Scholar...