I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) in 2015, majoring in genetics, ecology and botany. My research interests include plant ecophysiology and the application of genetics to conserve species threatened by human impact. This year, I have commenced an honours project with Eleanor Dormontt, Greg Guerin and Andrew Lowe which seeks to combine genetics and ecological modelling to advise the conservation of Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum). The project consists of three main aims, with a particular focus on South Australian populations:
- Verify a DNA marker set for the identification of Australian sandalwood and its geographical origin based on population samples throughout its distribution.
- Identify refugial areas within South Australia which are suitable for the conservation of Australian sandalwood.
- Propose management strategies for Australian sandalwood in South Australia by assessing the effects of key climatic variables on its future distribution.
Upon completion of the project, a genetic resource will be available to assist in reducing the detrimental impact of illegal harvested Australian sandalwood on Australia’s sandalwood industry. In addition, this insight into the genetic structure and health of South Australian sandalwood populations will benefit the species, which is listed as ‘endangered’ or ‘threatened’ in regions throughout the state