Lucy Ockert

Lucy Ockert

PhD Student
Evolution and Ecology Research Centre
Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

I am a PhD student studying little penguin genetics and evolution. I am broadly interested in using genetic techniques to assist conservation efforts.

I previously completed my honours at the University of Sydney where I investigated changes in the Tasmanian devil pouch microbiome during lactation.

Project: Conservation genetics and evolutionary processes of little penguins (Eudyptula novaehollandiae) in Australia

Supervised by: Lee Ann Rollins, William Sherwin, Jo Day (Taronga Conservation Society)

Project Description: My project focuses on exploring the relationships and genetic diversity among little penguin populations across Australia. I'm particularly interested in the colonies in NSW, which are thought to have experienced declines in recent years. I aim to uncover genetic signatures of natural selection, specifically related to threats like rising sea surface temperatures, to understand how these challenges impact the evolutionary path of little penguins. Additionally, I'll be analysing genetic data from captive little penguins to assist zoos in making informed decisions about breeding pairs and exchanges between institutions.

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