Chief Investigator

Cynthia Riginos is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland. She is an evolutionary biologist with wide-ranging interests spanning population genomics, land & seascape genetics, molecular ecology, phylogeography, biogeography, speciation, hybridisation, invasive species, and conservation. Overall, her research seeks to understand how marine biodiversity is created, where that biodiversity has accumulated, and how this knowledge can be used preserve biodiversity and the processes that create it in a changing world. Cynthia is especially fond of reef fishes, molluscs, and corals but easily distracted by other taxa as well. She is an associate editor for Molecular Ecology, the Journal of Biogeography, and Frontiers in Biogeography and a founding member of the Diversity in the Indo-Pacific Network (DIPnet), a consortium seeking to promote open data exchange and collaboration among genetic research groups and students working in the Indo-Pacific region. Cynthia has been at UQ since 2006 and previously held an endowed postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Evolution & Comparative Genomics at Duke University. Her PhD (2000) and Master’s (1998) degrees are both from the University of Arizona in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

PhD students

Dean Blower 

Molecular ecology of sharks with emphasis on effective population size estimation and its applications in fisheries and conservation

Supervisors: Riginos & Ovenden



Carmen Da Silva 

Acclimation capacity of intertidal fish: anticipating tolerance to climate change

Supervisors: Wilson & Riginos


Kimberley Dunbar 

Supervisors: Riginos & Pandolfi




Ambrocio (Din) Matias

Explaining genetic patterns across the Philippines

Supervisors: Riginos & Cook



Katharine Prata

Delineating hard coral population structure in relation to the seascape

Supervisors: Riginos & Bongaerts



Iva Popovic

 Evolutionary genomics in a marine global invader

Supervisors: Riginos & Ortiz-Barrientos



Sinan-Saleh Kassam

Characterizing the cryptic species complex in Australia using genotype, phenotype, and environment 

Supervisors: Riginos & Ortiz-Barrientos



Josh Thia 

Survival after arrival: the interplay between selection, dispersal, and connectivity in an intertidal fish

Supervisors: Riginos & McGuigan



Jenny Evans

Supervisors: McGuigan & Riginos

Lab alumni


Thomas Huelsken

Fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (2010-2011)


Lisa Pope

UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2012-2014)

Eric Treml

World Wildlife Foundation Fuller Fellow, ARC Fellow (2007-2011)

Lecturer at Deakin University


PhD students

Pim Bongaerts, (Primary supervisor: Hoegh-Guldberg), PhD 2010

Jenny Giles, PhD 2014

Jude Keyse, PhD 2015

Libby Liggins, PhD 2014

Andrew Mather, PhD 2016

James Hereward, (Primary supervisor: Gimme Walter), PhD 2013

Danielle Shanahan, (Primary supervisor: Possingham), PhD 2010

MS students

Adam Dinsdale, (Primary supervisor: Buckley), MS 2012

Kristin Douglas, MS 2008

Honours students

Lucie Malard, 2014

Lachlan Gleeson, 2012

Gabriel Dominguez, 2011

Carrie Sims, 2011

Carla Meers, 2010

Andrew Mather, 2009

Anna Mirams, 2009

Janne Torkkola, 2009

Jolene Wong, 2008

Gwen David, 2007