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Research projects

Current projects
We are currently working on a range of exciting projects, which are outlined below.

Professor Kathy Belov

Head of Lab

Professor Kathy Belov is a Professor of Comparative Genomics in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. Her research expertise is in the area of comparative genomics and immunogenetics, including Tasmanian devils and koalas, two iconic Australian species that are threatened by disease processes. Kathy has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers, including papers in Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and PLoS Biology. Kathy has received two Eureka awards, the Crozier medal from the Genetics Society of Australasia and the Fenner medal from the Australian Academy of Science for her research. She is the immediate past president of the Genetics Society of Australasia.

Professor Kathy Belov academic profile

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Dr Carolyn Hogg

Research Manager

Dr Carolyn Hogg has been working on the conservation of threatened species for over twenty-five years both in Australia and overseas. Carolyn is currently the Research Manager for the Australasian Wildlife Genomics Group in the Faculty of Science and has been working with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program for the past nine years. Working closely with both academic and conservation management partners we are developing better tools and technologies to integrate molecular genetics into real-time conservation management decisions.

Dr Carolyn Hogg academic profile

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Dr Ying Zhu

Visiting Scholar

Dr Ying Zhu is characterizing Major Histocompatibility complex genes (MHC) in several marsupial species from different orders through next generation sequencing data. The work will help us to understand the evolution of MHC across marsupial trees.

Yuanyuan Cheng

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Dr Yuanyuan Cheng is undertaking a project that focuses on using genomics approaches to study host fitness and cancer immunology in the Tasmanian devil. She is also currently working on several collaborative projects that use 3rd-generation sequencing to study genomes and transcriptomes in a range of non-model species.

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Belinda Wright

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Dr Belinda Wright is using genomic techniques to assess crucial issues of captive breeding programs such as founder effects, reduced genetic diversity and inbreeding, as well as adaptation to captivity. Her project mainly focuses on the Tasmanian devils but also extends to other endangered Australian marsupials.

Dr Belinda Wright academic profile

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Dr Emma Peel

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Dr Emma Peel is interested in marsupial immunology, which led to my current research focus on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). AMPs are naturally occurring antibiotics which are particularly interesting in marsupials given their role in protecting altricial young during development in the pouch. Currently she is characterising AMPs in a number of marsupial species, which will increase our understanding of this important component of innate immunity and may highlight novel drug candidates for future development.

Dr Emma Peel academic profile

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