Researcher biography


2016 - Bachelor of Science
2019 - Master of Science (Plant Biology)

Project title:

The Microneurae group of Acacia: phylogenetics, species delimitation and taxonomic revision

Project description:

The Microneurae group, consisting of approximately 20 species in the Acacia Sect. Plurinerves, thrives in clay-rich soils across Australia's arid and semi-arid regions, with the highest diversity in Queensland. Despite their ecological importance, this group remains poorly understood. Through the innovative Angiosperm 353 target capture sequence technique, my research aims to establish the Microneurae group's monophyly and assess species boundaries within two species pairs, namely A. georginae-A. cambagei and A. melvillei-A. omalophylla, which dominate extensive forests in central-eastern Australia. However, distinguishing between these species remains challenging because, although existing keys rely on differences in pod and seed shapes, there is actually a continuum in the field. Distinguishing these species is challenging due to a morphological continuum. By testing reciprocal monophyly and employing population genetic analyses for species delimitation, this project aims to enhance our knowledge of Acacia diversity and taxonomy.


Professor Rod Fensham and Associate Professor Lyn Cook