Rebecca is a certified wildlife forensic scientist and molecular geneticist with a BSc (Hons) in genetics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in the field of molecular evolutionary genetics from La Trobe University. Rebecca has held roles as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, James Cook University, Townsville and Tufts University, Boston USA. She is now Head of the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics at the Australian Museum and Acting Head of Science Services & Infrastructure. Rebecca’s major interest is in the field of wildlife forensics and she has established the Museum as one of the global leaders in this field.
Rebecca represents the Museum on a number of government and industry committees in her area of expertise.
She manages the Wildlife Genetics and Microscopy unit and is also head of the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics. Dr Johnson's research career began in the fascinating field of Queensland fruit fly genetics (Bactrocera sp.). She then studied and worked for several years in the incredible world of social insect genetics where she studied molecular systems of ants, honey bees and wasps. Her research at the Australian Museum mainly involves collaborative projects such as: conservation genetics of endangered birds, mammals, phylogenetics of other endemic and exotic species of polychaetes, molecular investigations into native Australian bees, Wildlife Forensics investigations.
One of the major areas of interest is Wildlife Forensics. In her laboratory we have worked on cases for many government agencies involving:
DNA Identification of shark fins and other seized fish parts
Dried animal body parts and skins
Bones and horns
‘Birdstrikes’: DNA identification of animals that hit aeroplanes/airplanes for Australian Airports.
Abstracts this author is presenting: