School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
Professor Frank Grützner received his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin in 2001. In the same year he moved to the Australian National University where he led and international team that resolved the longstanding controversy about the complex sex chromosome system in the platypus. In 2005 he moved to the University of Adelaide, where he is an ARC Australian Research Fellow and group leader at the School of Biological Sciences. Dr Grutzner has worked in the field of comparative genome biology in many different species and published extensively in leading international journals including Nature, Nature Genetics and Science. For the past 15 years he has been instrumental in establishing monotremes as a key species for research in comparative genomics and mammalian evolution. More recently he has established a community based research project on echidna conservation and research (EchidnaCSI).
He has won several awards for his research including the Eppendorf Medal for the Young Australian Investigator (2005) and the Tall Poppy Science Award (2007/8) and SA Science Excellence awards in Citizen Science (2021). His research has been supported by competitive ARC research fellowships and grants since 2003.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
Comparative Genome Biology
Our research aims to understand how different animal genomes evolved, how they are organised and how this effects their function. We use our results to better understand genome evolution and function but also to apply our novel insights to human disease and animal conservation. Our main species of interest are the iconic egg-laying mammals, the duck-billed platypus and short-beaked echidna. As the oldest surviving mammalian lineage these extraordinary animals provide valuable insights into mammalian evolution and human disease.
current research areas:
Sex chromosome evolution and function in mammals
Evolution and function of genes involved in metabolic control
Evolution of monoallelic gene expression and genomic imprinting
Evolution of non coding RNAs in reproduction
Function of the piRNA pathway in ovarian cancer
Application and development of moelcuar tools to aid monotreme field biolgy, conservation and captive breeding
Investigating mosquitofish sex determination as a tool for pest animal control
The Monotreme Resource Centre
Egg-laying mammals feature extraordinary biology and are the oldest surviving mammal. Platypus and echidna caputure the interest of researchers worl wide ever since the first specimen were send to England in 1798. Access to material from these animals has always been the limiting factor for research to better understand the biology of these animals. Since 2001 we have assembled a world-wide unique collection of well over 1000 specimen of tissues from platypus and echidna which are availbale for research. This has resulted in breakthrough research including monotremes and new datasets that are available to the research community to use to better understand mammalian evolution. Please contact us for more information about the collection and collaborative opportunities.
Date Position Institution name 2013 - ongoing Professor (ARC fellow) The University of Adelaide 2005 - ongoing ARC research fellow The University of Adelaide 2001 - 2004 Researcher Australian National University 1997 - 2016 PhD candidate Max Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2011 Award ARC Fellowship (ARF) Australian Research Council Australia - 2010 Achievement Finalist: Scopus Award for the Young Australian Researcher (Biological Sciences) - Australia - 2008 Award Research Career Development ECR Achievement award (School of Molecular and Biomedical Science) The University of Adelaide Australia - 2008 Award Certificate of merit for research excellence, Faculty of Science, University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia - 2007 Award Tall Poppy Science Award Australian Institute of Policy and Science Australia - 2006 Award ARC Fellowship (ARF) Australian Research Council Australia - 2005 Award Eppendorf Medal for the Young Australian Investigator Eppendorf Australia -
Year Citation 2021 Warren, W. C., & Grutzner, F. (2021). The Evolution of Viviparity in Vertebrates. In R. D. Geisert, & T. E. Spencer (Eds.), Placentation in Mammals (Vol. 234, pp. 7-19). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
2019 Daish, T., & Grützner, F. (2019). Evolution and meiotic organization of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. In B. R. Olsen (Ed.), Current Topics in Developmental Biology (Vol. 134, pp. 1-48). Cambridge, MA United States: Elsevier.
DOI Scopus7 WoS7 Europe PMC5
2018 Campbell Jones, R., Nixon, B., & Grützner, F. (2018). Reproduction in monotremes. In M. K. Skinner (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Reproduction (pp. 602-608). Academic Press.
2017 Lee, E., Jacob, R., & Grutzner, F. (2017). PIWI-Interacting RNAs (piRNAs) and Cancer. In J. Chakrabarti, & S. Mitra (Eds.), Cancer and Noncoding RNAs (Vol. 1, 1 ed., pp. 131-150). Academic Press.
2011 Lynne, M., & Grutzner, F. (2011). Replication Timing: Evolution, Nuclear Organization and Relevance for Human Disease. In H. Seligmann (Ed.), DNA Replication-Current Advances. InTech.
2011 Rowell, D., Lim, S., & Grutzner, F. (2011). Chromosome Analysis in Invertebrates and Vertebrates. In V. Orgogozo, & M. Rockman (Eds.), Methods in Molecular Biology - Volume 772 - Molecular Methods for Evolutionary Genetics (Vol. 772, 1 ed., pp. 13-36). United States: Springer.
DOI Scopus6 Europe PMC2
2006 Grutzner, F., Rens, W., Watson, J., Ferguson-Smith, M., & Graves, J. (2006). The chromosomes of monotreme mammals. In Mammalian chromosome atlas (1st ed., pp. 1-8). Hoboken, New Jersey, USA: Wiley.
Year Citation 2018 Stenhouse, A., Roetman, P., Perry, T., Grutzner, F., & Koh, L. P. (2018). Developing Citizen Science Apps for Conservation Biology: Koala Counter and EchidnaCSI. In Australian Citizen Science Conference. Adelaide, Australia. 2008 Grutzner, F. (2008). Evolution and organization of monotreme sex chromosomes. In BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION Vol. 78 (pp. 282-283). Kailua Kona, HI: SOC STUDY REPRODUCTION.
2007 Rens, W., O'Brien, P. C. M., Grutzner, F., Clarke, O., Graphodatskaya, D., Tsend-Ayush, E., . . . Ferguson-Smith, M. (2007). Characterization of the platypus and echidna sex chromosome system. In CHROMOSOME RESEARCH Vol. 15 (pp. 92). Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS: SPRINGER. 2007 Veyrunes, F., Rens, W., Waters, P., Miethke, P., Alsop, A., Grutzner, F., . . . Graves, J. (2007). Does the platypus sex chromosome system derive from an ancestral bird ZW system?. In CHROMOSOME RESEARCH Vol. 15 (pp. 72-73). Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS: SPRINGER. 2006 Grutzner, F. (2006). Sex Chromosomes Down Under: XY in platypus. In Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 257¿258 (2006) 1¿5. Minutes of the 14th European Workshop on Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology of the Testis (pp. 1-5). Online. 2005 Grutzner, F., Rens, W., Tsend-Ayush, E., El-Mogharbel, N., O'Brien, P., Jones, R., . . . Graves, J. (2005). Evolution and organization of the ten sex chromosome system in platypus. In Proceedings of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ; v. 37. ComBio 2005 : combined conference abstracts, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide,South Australia, 25 September to 29 Septembr 2005. Adelaide, South Australia. 2004 Grutzner, F., Rens, W., Jones, R., Tsend-Ayush, E., & Graves, J. (2004). Platypus have four male-specific chromosomes that segregate together at meiosis. In Human Genome Meeting (2004: Berlin, Germany). Berlin, Germany. - Stenhouse, A., Roetman, P., Grützner, F., Perry, T., & Koh, L. P. (n.d.). Improving Data Quality in Citizen Science Apps for Conservation Biology. In Biodiversity Information Science and Standards Vol. 2 (pp. e26665). Pensoft Publishers.
Year Citation - Stenhouse, A., Roetman, P., Koh, L. P., Grutzner, F., & Perry, T. (n.d.). Developing Citizen Science Apps for Conservation Biology: Koala Counter and EchidnaCSI.
Resarch funding acknowledgements
Australian research council, Australian Geographic
Convener, Genetics 3111,3113, Genes Genome and Molecular Evolution
Lecturer: 3111,3113, PPR2, PPR3
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2022 Co-Supervisor Dietary, genetic, microbiome and environmental factors contributing to oxalate nephrosis prevalence in South Australian koalas Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Evie Dunstan 2022 Co-Supervisor The Evolution of L1 and L2 Retrotransposons in Therian Mammals and Monotremes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Alexander James Stuart 2022 Principal Supervisor Monotremes and Mammalian Evolution Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jackson Bryce Dann 2021 Principal Supervisor Egg-laying mammals can inspire research in reproductive evolution and science education Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Isabella Rose Wilson 2020 Principal Supervisor Investigating the Clinical Potential of Evolutionary Changes in Metabolic Genes Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Madison Nicole Helms 2019 Principal Supervisor Comparing molecular and physiological adaptations to specialised insectivory in mammals to improve management Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Michelle Emma Shaw 2016 Co-Supervisor The Role of 5-Methly Cytosine during Plant Development Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jing Zhao
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2018 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Evolution and Organization of Monotreme Sex Chromosomes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Filip Pajpach 2017 - 2021 Principal Supervisor The Role of piRNA Pathway Genes in Ovarian and Prostate Cancer Progression Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Eunice Hsiu Yee Lee 2016 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Investigating the Dynamics of Interchromosonal Interactions and CTCF Site Methylation at the IGF2 Locus in Mammalian Evolution and Human Disease Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Nicole Marie Williams 2016 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Combining Molecular Techniques with Public Outreach to better Understand Wild and Captive Populations of the Short-Beaked Echidna for Applications in their Conservation and Management Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Tahlia Jade Perry 2010 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Evolution of Mammalian Sex Chromosomes and Sex Determination Genes: Insights from Monotremes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Deborah Fernanda Toledo-Flores 2010 - 2012 Principal Supervisor A First Look at Monotreme Meiotic Recombination Master of Science Master Full Time Miss Sonia Adeline Horan 2010 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Investigating Function and Evolution of Genes and Proteins Involved in Metabolic Control in Mammals Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Chuan He 2009 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Investigating the evolution of replication timing and monoallelic expression in mammals and birds Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Megan Wright 2009 - 2012 Principal Supervisor Function and Evolution of the piRNA Pathway in the Amniote Gonad and Human Ovarian Cancer Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Shu Ly Lim 2009 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Investigating the Organisation of the Platypus Sex Chromosome Chain During Meiotic Prophase I Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Aaron Casey 2008 - 2009 Co-Supervisor Identification and Analysis of the Two Tau Paralogues in Zebrafish Master of Science Master Full Time Miss Mengqi Chen
Date Role Membership Country 2015 - ongoing Member ARC College of Experts Australia
Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country 2013 - ongoing Associate Editor BMC Genomics - -
Date Office Name Institution Country 2006 - 2016 ARC research fellow and group leader The University of Adelaide Australia 2006 - 2006 Lecturer in Genetics The University of Adelaide Australia 2003 - 2005 ARC research fellow Australian National University Australia 2001 - 2002 Postdoctoral researcher Australian National University - 2001 - 2001 Postdoctoral researcher Max Planck Insitute of Molecular Genetics Germany
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