LAB GROUP

Ceridwen (Crid) Fraser

I have an undergraduate degree in conserving cultural materials, but my obsession with the ocean and the creatures that live in it refused to be squashed, so I did a second undergraduate degree in marine biology. My Honours year was spent researching marine ecology at the Australian Museum. I stayed on at the Museum for a year or so, working as a technical officer, then moved across the ditch in 2006 to study for my PhD in the Department of Zoology at the University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand), graduating in 2009. During my PhD, I fell in love with New Zealand and its incredible marine environments, so I stayed in Dunedin for my first postdoctoral fellowship with the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution. I then took up a postdoc position in the Biological Control and Spatial Ecology group at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, where I worked for around a year before accepting an ongoing position in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, in 2012. In 2019, I was thrilled to take the opportunity to move my lab group - permanently - back to the University of Otago, New Zealand. I am now based in the Department of Marine Science at the University of Otago. I have one child and support a culture of work-family balance in academia.

Key awards and appointments:

2019: The International Biogeography Society's biennial award for significant, innovative contributions to biogeography by a mid-career researcher (MacArthur & Wilson Award)

2019: Rutherford Discovery Fellowship, New Zealand

2018: Elected as one of the two academic staff members on the ANU Council, which governs and provides strategic oversight for the university.

2018: Australian Academy of Science medal for distinguished early-career research in biology (Fenner Medal).

2017: ARC Future Fellowship

2016: ACT Scientist of the Year

2014: ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA)

CURRENT STUDENTS

Pamela Olmedo Rojas, PhD student, 2018 -

Pamela is researching the evolution, diversity and dispersal capacity of Antarctic mosses. She started her PhD in late 2018, and is supported by a CONICYT scholarship from the Chilean Government.

Elahe Parvizi, PhD student, 2018 -

Eli is researching the impacts of past (thousands of years ago) earthquake uplift on marine intertidal communities in southern New Zealand (Otago). Her primary supervisor is Prof Jon Waters in the Department of Zoology.

Laura Smith and Katie Moon, in the lab

Crid Fraser in Antarctica

Katie Moon holding a newly-hatched penguin chick

PAST LAB MEMBERS

Postdoc:

Dr Anna Simonsen

During her postdoc, Anna used genomic approaches to look for plant symbionts, including rhizobia, in Antarctica. Knowing whether plant symbionts are in - or can disperse to - Antarctica will help us to understand how easily invasive plant species might establish on the continent with warming climates. Anna is now a DECRA Fellow in the Borevitz lab at ANU.

Research assistant:

Rachel Rathjen

Rachel helped with a range of projects including macroalgal DNA extractions at GBS, metabarcoding of Antarctic soils, and exon-capture analyses of Antarctic mosses.

Completed PhD student:

  • Katie Moon: Katie's PhD assessed whether terrestrial parasites could disperse with aquatically-dispersing hosts (in this case, ticks with penguins). Katie graduated in July 2018 after her PhD was accepted unconditionally. For more information on her project, see https://sites.google.com/site/katielouisemoon/home

Honours students:

  • Johnette Peters: Johnette used genomic approaches to trace the origins of intertidal kelp rafts reaching the earthquake-decimated coastal regions of North Canterbury, New Zealand.

  • Emma Pearce: Dendrochronological analysis of climate change impacts on Podocarpus lawrencei in the Australian Alps.

  • Callum Blake: Distribution of the phytomyxean gall-forming parasite Maullinia associated with southern bull kelp species (Durvillaea) in Chile and Australia.

  • Laura Smith: Identifying glacial refugia through meta-analysis of genetic diversity in Antarctic springtails

  • Xenia Weber: Identifying cryptic species in southern bull kelp in Australia. Xenia was awarded a University Medal.

  • Amy Macris: Genetic diversity in alpine tree frogs (Litoria verreauxii alpina) affected by chytrid fungus

  • Katie Moon: Evolutionary history and dispersal capacity of little blue penguin ticks

 

Independent Research Project students:

  • Alex Harrison: Pumice rafting as a transportation agent for marine life: relationships between clast volume / porosity and biomass / diversity

  • Laura Smith: Assessing marine worm dispersal potential among estuaries in NSW

  • Victor Wang: Reproductive and dispersal strategies underpin density dependent demographic processes

  • Wei (Cheng) Tan: Ectoparasite dispersal by an aquatic bird

  • Laura Wilson: Connectivity of tropical marine ecosystems in north-western Australasia.