Frank Grutzner

Professor Frank Grutzner

Professor

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.

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.

  • Appointments

    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
  • Research Interests

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 The Evolution of L1 and L2 Retrotransposons in Therian Mammals and Monotremes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Alexander James Stuart
    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
    2021 Principal Supervisor Monotreme incretin hormone production/regulation and how it differs to human incretin regulation with the potential for the GLP-1 analogue to be used as an experimental diabetes drug in humans Master of Philosophy Master 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
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2015 - ongoing Member ARC College of Experts Australia
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2013 - ongoing Associate Editor BMC Genomics
  • Offices Held

    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
  • Position: Professor
  • Phone: 83134812
  • Email: frank.grutzner@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 83134362
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Molecular Life Sciences, floor 2
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

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