Michelle Guzik

Dr Michelle Guzik

Grant-Funded Researcher (C)

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

I work at the intersection of research and industry, applying new technologies to real-world problems. I am recognized for my ability to initiate, maintain and deliver on long-lasting external industry based research partnerships. 

As a research scientist I lead national multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary collaborative teams. I currently lead a $4 million collaborative research and innovation program developing new genetic technologies to achieve biomonitoring solutions for legislative compliance and conservation management outcomes.

  • Contact me for research collaboration opportunities. 

My executive roles include principal scientist of the dynamic Invertebrate Systematics and Biodiversity Lab @dnarthropods; School of Biological Sciences Associate Head People and Culture; President of the scientific Society of Australian Systematic Biologists @SASBiologists and Co-chair of the Early and Mid Career Researcher Association @BioEMCRA at the University of Adelaide. For more information about me see http://michelleguzik.com/.

    I am currently available to take students at undergraduate honours and undergraduate internship levels. I have both existing and bespoke projects that implement genomics methods to answer questions in evolutionary biology, conservation biology and biodiversity discovery.

    • Contact me for supervision opportunities. 


    Background: Globally, groundwater is one of our most valuable natural resources – an insurance policy in the face of climate change. In Australia, the economic production value of groundwater is estimated to be $33.8 billion. Groundwater also supports groundwater dependent ecosystems, high value biodiversity resources not found anywhere else in the world, that are protected under Australian State and Commonwealth legislation. Considerable tension exists in groundwater use between economic and environmental sustainability. My team undertakes high quality innovative science that will provide decision-makers and stakeholders of groundwater resources and ecosystems the information they need to plan for a environmentally sustainable future.

    Project 1: Weeli wolli springs is a groundwater dependent ecosystem that contains a high biodiversity value ecological community. It is listed as a Priority Ecological Communities (PEC Priority 1) under Western Australian legislation for its exceptional subterranean fauna. Anthropogenic impacts on this PEC are complex and representative of threats to groundwater throughout  the world. Environmental DNA (eDNA) is considered a useful addition to understanding these impacts through environmental monitoring. This project will analyse eDNA data from this location and develop a custom library for subterranean fauna.

    Project 2: Groundwater microbiomes are minimally studied, however they are critical to the rehabilitation of groundwater dependent ecosystems as a fundamental component of underground trophic communities. Here, groundwater microbiomes will be examined from high biodiversity groundwater dependent ecosystems such as Barrow Island and Great Artesian Basin springs.

    Project 3: The blind cave eel, Ophisternon candidum, is a rare groundwater inhabitant found in geographically isolated populations of north-western Australia. The species is listed as vulnerable under Commonwealth legislation and is a priority consideration when environmental disturbance by resource companies is proposed. Detection of this species for Environmental Impact Assessment and monitoring is extremely difficult because individuals appear to be naturally rare, and can avoid traditional sampling techniques. This species is also likely to be an indicator of ecosystem health and biodiversity value. This project will access new data from multiple locations to identify the extent of population genetic structure in this little known but high conservation value species.

    Project 4: The Great Artesian Basin fed springs of South Australia are an environment of immense biodiversity and cultural value. An iconic endemic species of the springs, the aquatic isopod Phreatomerus latipes, is considered extinct at its type locality. However, evidence of evolutionarily distinct lineages representing putative new species exists. This project will involve putting together new evidence (morphological, genetic, geographic) to describe new species of Phreatomerus in collaboration with the South Australian Museum. 

    • Appointments

      Date Position Institution name
      2023 - ongoing Senior Lecturer The University Of Adelaide
      2019 - 2023 Senior Research Associate University of Adelaide
      2019 - 2014 Senior Research Associate University of Adelaide
      2009 - 2020 Research Associate (affiliate) Western Australian Museum
      2005 - 2014 Post-doctoral Research Associate University of Adelaide
    • Education

      Date Institution name Country Title
      2000 - 2005 James Cook University Australia PhD
      1994 - 1998 La Trobe University Australia BSc (Hons)

    2023 BHP Collaborative Research Project

    Developing Great Artesian Basin springs research program ($165,000) (Chief Investigator)

    2022 Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics Internal Research Funding SchemeThe University of Adelaide 

    Science communication behind the scenes?: Interrogating the role of women in professional life sciences societies ($10,000) (co-Chief Investigator).

    2021 BHP Contract Research ProjectSouth Australian Museum

    Assessing the biodiversity and ecological value of the Great Artesian Basin springs (scoping project for a 2022 ARC Linkage Grant bid) ($196,186) (Chief Investigator)

    2021 National Taxonomy Research Grant Program (NTRGP)Curtin University

    Post-doctoral Fellowship: Biodiversity and systematics of Australian Bathynellacea (Crustacea): an ancient and diverse stygofaunal group in the arid zones of Australia (NTRGP: $300,000, co-funding (including industry cash): $291,336, in-kind: $221,168 (total $812,504)) (Co-investigator)

    2020 BHP-Curtin University Alliance eDNA for Global Environment Studies (eDGES) programCurtin University

    (BHP Social Benefit Fund) eDNA for subterranean and Great Artesian Basin fauna detection and conservation: $374,415 (Co-investigator) 

    2019 ARC Linkage Projectthe University of Adelaide

    eDNA underground: transforming assessment of subterranean ecosystems (ARC: $490,000, industry cash: $573,000 and in-kind: $710,978 (total $1,773,978)) (Silent Investigator)

    2019 WABSI Contract Research the University of Adelaide

    Transforming assessment of subterranean ecosystems using environmental DNA ($105,000) (Chief Investigator)

    2014 ARC Linkage Project the University of Adelaide

    Subterranean invertebrate communities of arid zone Western Australia: diversity, assessment and food-web structure (ARC: $350,000, industry cash: $168,000, in-kind: $225,000 (total $743,000)) (Silent Investigator)

    2013 Mysteries of Lake Eyre Research Grant Scheme (Nature Foundation SA) the University of Adelaide

    Community structure of Great Artesian Basin mound springs of North Western Lake Eyre ($3,500) (Chief Investigator)

    2009 ARC Environmental Futures Network (Early Career Researcher) Grant the University of Adelaide

    Statistical Phylogeography Workshop at AMNH South Western Research Station, Portal, New Mexico, USA ($3,000)

    2008 ARC Environmental Futures Network (Early Career Researcher) Grant the University of Adelaide

    National Postgraduate Training Workshop in Systematics funding ($20,000)

    2006 ARC Environmental Futures Network (Early Career Researcher) Grant the University of Adelaide

    Methodological advances essential for understanding the recent history of the Australian terrestrial Biota: Molecular Dates and Rates Workshop funding ($20,000)

    2006 Australian Biological Resources Study Participatory Program Grants Scheme the University of Adelaide

    Research Project: Systematics of the Australian Parabathynellidae (Crustacea: Bathynellacea) ($30,000) (Chief Investigator)

    2000 Commonwealth Australian Postgraduate Award James Cook University

    PhD Scholarship ($54,000)

    2020 and 2019: SCIENCE 2300 – Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) II. Tutorial format introduction to a novel topic of research, including setting and marking of an essay.

    2018 and 2019: ENV BIOL 3535 – Research Methods in Evolutionary Biology III. Presentation of novel research methodologies to undergraduate students.

    2011 and 2012: The University of Adelaide Summer Scholarship Program. Hosted an undergraduate student for six weeks, during their summer break, to conduct a small research project with laboratory work and analysis followed by write-up of a short report.

    2009 – 2011: Evolution and Palaeontology III. Guest lecturer for three formal lectures and setting exam questions for undergraduate students.

    2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018: Tutorials for the National Postgraduate Training Workshop in Systematics. Teaching two-day phylogenetics methodology tutorials.

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

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2024 Co-Supervisor Molecular phylogenetics, ecology, and management of Mediterranean pest snails in Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Nicole Kristyn Fechner
      2024 Principal Supervisor New methods in monitoring groundwater-dependent ecosystems using environmental DNA. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Jake Thornhill
      2024 Co-Supervisor Systematics of the parasitoid subfamily Mesostoinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): exploring the biology and evolution of Australian taxa. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Shannon Tetley
      2023 Co-Supervisor Taxonomy and systematics of the parasitoid wasp subfamily Rogadinae in Australia, with a focus on the tribe Betylobraconini Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Mollie-Rosae Slater-Baker
      2022 Co-Supervisor Improving eDNA Methods for Groundwater Biomonitoring Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Milad Khosravi
    • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2020 - 2023 Co-Supervisor The ecology, conservation, and management of Australia’s ephemeral freshwater granite rock-holes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Brock Adam Hedges
      2014 - 2019 Co-Supervisor The systematics and biogeographic history of Australian arid zone oniscidean isopods (Philosciidae) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Danielle Nicole Stringer
      2012 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Contributions to the Systematics and Biogeography of the Mygalomorph Spider Families Migidae and Idiopidae in Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Sophie Ellen Harrison
      2008 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Phylogenetics and Biogeography of Australian Subterranean Parabathynellidae Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Kym Abrams
    • Other Supervision Activities

      Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
      2022 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Diving in the dark: morphological diversity of subterranean beetles The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Science with Honours in Evolution and Palaeobiology Honours Full Time Yuxuan Zhao
    • Position: Grant-Funded Researcher (C)
    • Phone: 83138244
    • Email: michelle.guzik@adelaide.edu.au
    • Fax: 83134364
    • Campus: North Terrace
    • Building: Darling, floor G
    • Org Unit: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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