Jeremy Austin

Associate Professor Jeremy Austin

Senior Lecturer

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD, but is currently at capacity - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Jeremy is an evolutionary biologist working in the fields of ancient DNA, molecular ecology, conservation genetics and forensic biology. He received his PhD from the University of Tasmania in 1995 and has held postdoctoral research positions at the Natural History Museum (London), University of Queensland (Brisbane), Museum Victoria (Melbourne) and the University of Adelaide. In 2011 he was awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship and is now a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, and Deputy Director of ACAD, at the University of Adelaide.

Jeremy’s research uses ancient and modern DNA techniques to “travel through time” to understand the evolutionary history of living and extinct vertebrates; assess the impacts of past environmental change on animal populations; and provide valuable genetic data for conservation and management of threatened species.

Since 2007 Jeremy has applied cutting-edge ancient DNA techniques to allow forensic identification of highly degraded human remains - murder victims, missing persons and war dead. In this area Jeremy's group is developing new "genomics" techniques for human identification as well as providing a service to the Australian Defence Force, Australian Police and humanitarian agencies to assist with the identification of human remains.

Jeremy's research uses "ancient" DNA techniques in two very different fields of genetics and evolution.

The first focuses on using DNA sampled through space and time to understand the evolutionary history of living and extinct animals and birds, to assess the impacts of past environmental change on animal and bird populations, and to provide valuable genetic data for conservation and management of threatened species.

The second utilises ancient DNA techniques to allow forensic identification of highly degraded human remains - murder victims, missing persons and war dead. In this area Jeremy's group is developing new "genomics" techniques for human identification as well as providing a service to the Australian Defence Force, Australian Police and humanitarian agencies to assist with the identification of human remains.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2011 - 2015 ARC Future Fellow University of Adelaide
    2005 - 2011 Postdoctoral researcher University of Adelaide
    2003 - 2005 Postdoctoral researcher Museum Victoria
    2000 - 2003 Postdoctoral researcher University of Queensland
    1994 - 2000 Postdoctoral researcher Natural History Museum
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1991 - 1994 University of Tasmania Australia PhD
    1990 - 1990 University of Tasmania Australia BSc (Hons)
  • Research Interests

Competitive grants

Lowe A, Linacre A, Dormontt E, Johnson R, Austin JJ, Waycott M, Donnellan S, Austin A, Tobe S, Stephen J, Wilson-Wilde L. The Advanced DNA Identification and Forensics Facility. $435,000. (2016)

Austin JJ Human identification, ancient DNA and genomics. ARC Discovery. $408,000 (2015-2017)

Austin JJ, Byrne M, Joseph L, Suchard M. Reconstructing the impact of climate change on Australian native species. ARC Discovery. $520,000 (2013-2015)

Austin JJ. DNA and the Missing: ancient DNA and advanced forensic identification. ARC Future Fellowship, $693,000 (2011-2014)

Cooper A, Austin JJ, Byrne M, Joseph L, Suchard M, Donnellan S, Moritz C, Hickerson M, Turney C, Storfer A, Bradshaw C, Laity T, Johnson C, Thomson V, Soubrier J. Using genetics to understand the impacts of climate change on Australian endemics. ACEAS Working Group, $44,000 (2012)

Austin JJ, Haak W, Nguyen L, Munro T, Wilson-Wilde L, Pearman C, Walsh S. Advanced DNA Forensic Facility. AIB Labs Research Infrastructure Fund, $100,000, (2012)

Austin JJ, Gongora J, Dobney K, Larson G, Hunt T, Burney D, Taylor J. Reconstructing the human colonisation of the Pacific using modern and ancient chicken DNA. ARC Discovery, $343,000 (2011-2013)

Burridge C, Austin JJ, Priddel D. Genetic distinctiveness of Providence Petrel colonies: past, present, and future. Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation. $40,000 (2011-2012)

Parris K, Melville J, Austin JJ, Littlejohn M. The impact of severe bushfires on the ecology, demography and genetics of frogs in the Victorian Kinglake region. ARC Linkage, $338,000 (2010-2012)

Austin JJ, Belov K, Jones M, Murchison E, Pearse A-M. Evolution disease and extinction – using ancient and modern DNA to investigate molecular evolution in the Tasmanian devil. ARC Linkage, $264,000 (2009-2011)

Cooper A, Austin JJ (2009) Surviving a dusty ice age: identifying the impacts of and biotic response to climate change in Quaternary Australia. Environmental Futures Network, Working Group Projects. $25,000 (2009)

Van Buskirk J, Melville J, Parris K, Austin JJ, Littlejohn M. Human-induced changes in the genetic structure of amphibian populations. ARC Linkage, $324,000 (2006-2008)

Austin JJ. Extinctions past and present – using ancient DNA to investigate extinctions of Australia’s largest marsupial carnivores. University of Adelaide, Faculty of Science Strategic Research Funding, $10,000 (2007)

Biology 1401 - Concepts in Biology http://www.adelaide.edu.au/course-outlines/107732/1/sem-1/

Env Biol 2503 - Zoology II http://www.adelaide.edu.au/course-outlines/104303/1/sem-1/

Env Biol 3550 - Evolution of Australian Biota III http://www.adelaide.edu.au/course-outlines/108413/1/sem-2/

Bachelor of Science (Advanced) - Genetics and Evolution Co-ordinator http://www.adelaide.edu.au/degree-finder/bsc_bscadv.html

Honours - Evolution and Palaeobiology - Co-ordinator https://sciences.adelaide.edu.au/study/honours

Postgraduate Co-ordinator - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology http://sciences.adelaide.edu.au/future-students/postgraduate/

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor Ecosystem Functionality of an Arid Nature Reserve Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Alex Nankivell
    2019 Principal Supervisor Conservation Genomics and Adaptation of Translocated Greater Stick Nest Rats Under Climate Change Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Isabelle Rose Onley
    2019 Principal Supervisor Genomics of Living and Extinct Australian Marsupials Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Caitlin Simone Mudge
    2019 Principal Supervisor Forensic DNA Recovery and Amplification from Metal and Metal-coated Surfaces Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Dan Osei Mensah Bonsu
    2019 Co-Supervisor Comprehensive Assessment of Microplastics in Crustaceans in Lagos Lagoon and Okrika Estuary, Nigeria. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Solomon Ogunola
    2019 Principal Supervisor Human and bison genomic adaptation through time Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Antonios Constantinos Bratis
    2019 Co-Supervisor Low Biomass Microbiome Research in Health Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Caitlin Alyssa Selway
    2019 Co-Supervisor Evolution of North American Bison Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Lindsey Erin Fenderson
    2019 Co-Supervisor Ancient DNA of Brown Bears Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Alexander Theodore Salis
    2019 Principal Supervisor Using Pangenome-Graph to improve multiple population genetics inferences Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Adrien Oliva
    2019 Principal Supervisor Reconstructing the Population History of Wallacea and Sahul Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Gludhug Ariyo Purnomo
    2018 Principal Supervisor Retrieving DNA from incinerated teeth: Implications for forensic identification Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Rabiah Al Adawiyah Binti Rahmat
    2017 Co-Supervisor Molecular systematic of bent-winged bats Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sigit Wiantoro
    2016 Principal Supervisor The effects of climate change on malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Peri Stenhouse
    2015 Co-Supervisor Genetic techniques for monitoring illegal logging of valuable timber species Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Duncan Iain Jardine
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2015 - 2019 Principal Supervisor New Forensic DNA Profiling Techniques for Human Identification Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Felicia Bardan
    2014 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Investigating Australian Mammal Extinctions and Conservation Using Ancient DNA, Population Genetics and Time-Series Analysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Lauren Christine White
    2012 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Genetic studies on prehistoric translocations of chickens in the Indo-Pacific Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Michael James Herrera
    2011 - 2014 Principal Supervisor A study of post-mortem degradation of teeth to advance forensic DNA analysis as a tool for Human identification Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Denice Higgins
    2010 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Population Genetics and Phylogeography of Antilopine Wallaroo Using Degraded DNA from Scats and Museum Specimens Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jessica Jayne Wadley
    2006 - 2011 Principal Supervisor Mitochondrial DNA Analysis of the Evolution and Genetic Diversity of Ancient and Extinct Bears Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Sarah Bray
    2006 - 2010 Co-Supervisor Palaeoecology & population demographics of the extinct New Zealand moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nicolas Rawlence
    2006 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Camaenid Land Snails of Eastern Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Andrew Hugall
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83134557
  • Email: jeremy.austin@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4364
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Darling, floor 2
  • Room: 2 13
  • Org Unit: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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