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Research Scientist (Conservation Genetics)
Biodiversity Conservation Centre
Kattidj Close
Kings Park Western Australia 6005
(+61 8) 9480 3642

Research themes

  • Conservation genetics
  • Ecological genetics
  • Phylogenetics and phylogeography
  • Pollen and seed dispersal (marine)
  • Marine restoration

Academic background

Liz started at Kings Park in June 2004. She is interested in using molecular genetic approaches to address issues in evolutionary biology and conservation including the application of population genetic data for conservation and management of threatened and endangered species, comparative phylogeography (examining patterns of genetic variation across landscapes and explaining them in terms of gene flow, distribution, landscape, and historical events), and molecular systematics. Liz has worked with a wide variety of organisms and gained experience working with many different genetic markers. Liz spent six years as a post-doc with Drs Keith Crandall and Jack Sites at Brigham Young University, working primarily on freshwater crayfish and South American lizards. More recently, her research has focused on bushland restoration - identifying suitable source populations (seeds and green stock material) to reintroduce into Bold Park for restoration purposes. This work is part of a larger program to develop genetic guidelines for urban bushland restoration. Her current research focuses on population genetics, mating systems, long distance dispersal and recruitment in Australian seagrasses, Posidonia, with a view to improving current restoration practices.

Major projects


  • Ecological and genetic connectivity in seagrasses: the role of sexual reproduction, dispersal and recruitment on meadow restoration. ARC Linkage project (2013 - 2016). Industry partner: Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.


  • Establishing genetic guidelines for the effective ecological restoration of seagrass meadows. ;ARC Linkage project (2010 - 2013). Industry partners: Cockburn Cement, Department of Environment and Conservation, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.
  • Development of genetic markers and clonal diversity in the seagrass Posidonia australis in Cockburn Sound. Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Program through Oceanica Consulting Pty Ltd (2008 - 2010). Industry partners: Cockburn Cement, Department of Industry and Resources, Department of Environment and Conservation.
  • Survey of the Muddy Lakes area in Western Australia for quokkas Setonix brachyurus (2008). Industry partner: Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts, Canberra.
  • Rapid genetic delineation of local provenance for effective restoration of urban bushland remnants. ARC Linkage project (2004 - 2007). Industry partner: Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.
  • The phylogeny of Xantusiidae, and its placement within Scleroglossa (Reptilia: Squamata) (2002). NSF grant awarded to Sites et al.

Research associates and students


  • Henry Lambert, BGPA Summer Scholarship Student


  • Suzanna Evans (PhD; UNSW, 2015) Genetic diversity and trophic interactions in seagrass beds.
  • Alison Ritchie (PhD; UWA, 2015) A genetic assessment of ecological restoration success.
  • Ilena Gecan (Hons; UWA, 2012) Realised pollen dispersal in the seagrass Posidonia australis.

Selected publications

  • Sinclair EA, Statton J, Hovey R, Anthony J, Dixon KW and Kendrick GA (2016) Reproduction at the extremes: pseudovivipary and genetic mosaicism in Posidonia australis Hooker (Posidoniaceae). Annals of Botany 117: 237-247.
  • Sinclair EA, Gecan I, Krauss SL and Kendrick GA (2014) Against the odds: complete outcrossing in a monoecious clonal seagrass Posidonia australis (Posidoniaceae). Annals of Botany 113: 1185-1196.
  • Krauss SL, Sinclair EA, Bussell JD, Cheetham B and Hobbs RJ (2013) An ecological genetic delineation of local seed-source provenance for ecological restoration. Ecology and Evolution 3: 2138-2149.
  • Noonan BP, Pramuk JB, Bezy RL, Sinclair EA, de Queiroz K and Sites JW Jr (2013) Phylogenetic relationships within the lizard clade Xantusiidae: Using trees and divergence times to address evolutionary questions at multiple levels. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69: 109-122.
  • Kendrick GA, Waycott M, Carruthers T, Cambridge M, Hovey R, Krauss SL, Lavery P, Les D, Lowe RJ, Mascaró O, Ooi Lean Sim J, Orth RJ, Rivers D, Ruiz-Montoya L, Sinclair EA, 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.
  • Sinclair EA, Madson A, Walsh T, Nelson J and Crandall KA (2011) Cryptic genetic divergence in the giant Tasmanian freshwater crayfish, Astacopsis gouldi (Decapoda: Parastacidae); implications for conservation. Animal Conservation 14: 87-97.
  • Swarts ND, Sinclair EA, Francis A and Dixon KW (2010) Ecological specialization in mycorrhizal symbiosis leads to rarity in an endangered terrestrial orchid. Molecular Ecology 19: 3226-3242.
  • Sinclair EA, Pramuk JB, Bezy RL, Crandall KA and Sites JW Jr (2010) DNA evidence for non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis in vertebrates. Evolution 64: 1346–1357.
  • Shull HC, Pérez-Losada M, Blair D, Sewel K, Sinclair EA, Lawler S, Ponniah M and Crandall KA (2005) Phylogeny of the freshwater crayfish Euastacus (Decapoda: Parastacidae) based on four nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 249-263.
  • Sinclair EA, Bezy RL, Camarillo J, Bolles K, Crandall KA and Sites JW Jr (2004) Testing species boundaries in an ancient species complex with deep phylogeographic history: genus Xantusia (Squamata: Xantusiidae). The American Naturalist 163: 396-414.

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

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