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Ayla Van Loenen

Ayla Van Loenen
Higher Degree by Research Candidate
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences

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External Profiles

Ayla Van Loenen

Ayla's research focuses on using a variety of molecular and bioinformatics techniques to understand population genetics and evolutionary patterns and processes of species over time. Her current research project based at the University of Adelaide (Australia) investigating the evolutionary history of European bison (Bison bonasus), involves working on an integrated approach which combines ancient DNA data from samples across a broad geographical and temporal range with other available associated sample metadata (including historical climate and environmental data, modern DNA data, isotope analysis and radiocarbon dating). This project aims to provide information on a detailed view of population history as a species (almost) becomes extinct, and answer key questions about the response of megafaunal populations to periods of rapid environmental and climatic changes.


Date Position Institution name
2014 - 2015 Research Assistant University of Canterbury
2013 - 2015 Research Assistant University of Otago

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
2016 Award Registration reimbursement award Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution
2015 Scholarship Faculty of Sciences PhD Scholarship University of Adelaide
2012 Award UC Internation Mobility Outbound Exchange Award University of Canterbury

Language Competencies

Language Competency
Dutch; Flemish Can read, speak and understand spoken
English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review


Date Institution name Country Title
2013 - 2013 University of Canterbury New Zealand BSc with Honours (First Class): Evolutionary Biology
2012 - 2013 University of Leicester United Kingdom Full Year Exchange - 3rd year BSc (Genetics)
2010 - 2013 University of Canterbury New Zealand BSc: Biological Sciences


Conference Items

Year Citation
2017 Perry, T. J. (2017). Ancient DNA from the North American flat-headed peccary reveals it’s phylogenetic position and a genetically diverse population prior to extinction. Poster session presented at the meeting of 12th International Mammological Congress. Perth, WA.


Date Role Membership Country
2016 - ongoing Member Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution
North Terrace
Darling, floor 2
Room Number
2 05d
Org Unit
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology