International Plant & Animal Genome Conference / PAG 32 • January 10-15, 2025  •  San Diego, CA, USA

r.johnson-smDirector, Australian Museum Research Institute, Professor - University of Sydney, Australia
Wednesday, January 18, 8:00 AM / Town & Country Ballroom

Talk Topic: Genomics and Wildlife Conservation

Now that the $1000 genome is within reach what is its value to the many researchers working on non-model organisms that are less well characterised at the genomic level? This talk will investigate the value and utility of Genomics to Wildlife Conservation and other applications such as the illegal wildlife trade. It will particularly focus on case studies from Rebecca’s work in the illegal wildlife trade and lessons learned from the from the koala genome and other threatened and endangered species.


Dr Johnson is Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute, a Wildlife Forensic Scientist, a conservation geneticist and co-chief investigator of the Koala Genome Consortium. As Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute she leads the 100+ staff working in science and education work of the Australian Museum.


She has an honours degree from the University of Sydney and PhD from La Trobe University Melbourne in the field of molecular evolutionary genetics and has worked as a molecular geneticist, in Australia and the USA before joining the museum in 2003. Since then she has established the Museum as one of the global leaders in the field of wildlife forensics and conservation genomics through the ISO17025 accreditation of the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics facilities (one of the only fully accredited wildlife forensics laboratories in the Australasian region).


In 2014 she was admitted into the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences and in April 2015 she became Director, Australian Museum Research Institute, Science & Learning (the first female science director in the Australian Museum’s 188 year history). She is one of 23 individuals certified as a wildlife forensic scientists globally, and is one of only two experts appointed by the Federal Environment Minister as an examiner in wildlife forensics under the EPBC commonwealth legislation section 303GS(1). In May 2016 she was awarded the title of adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney.


Rebecca represents the Museum on >14 government and industry committees, including as NSW Branch president of the Australian & New Zealand forensic Science Society and Director of Membership & Outreach for the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science.
She is passionate about the importance of STEM education and is frequently invited to present her research both in Australia and overseas and regularly presents to students and the public on the importance of conservation research, wildlife forensic science and the key roles and museums and herbaria can play in making a difference to everyone through their science.


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PAG Future Dates

PAG 32 - January 10-15, 2025

PAG 33 - January 9-14, 2026

PAG 34 - January 8-13, 2027

San Diego, CA

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