• 4575 Citations
  • 36 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Biography

I am a Professor of Biodiversity Genomics and the Director of the Molecular Ecology Lab at Flinders University (MELFU). My main research and teaching interests are in evolution and conservation biology.

I was born and raised in Uruguaiana - a town in the Pampas grassland in Brazil. In 1986, I moved to the coast to study Biological Oceanography (BSc and Msc), ichthyology and population genetics at University of Rio Grande. In 1996, I moved to Sydney for a PhD in fish evolutionary genetics, awarded by Macquarie University in 2001.

I was a Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Research Fellow at Yale University (2001-2003) working in projects in Amazonia and the Galapagos, before returning to Australia for a tenure faculty position at Macquarie. I worked at Macquarie until 2009 as Associate Professor and head of the Molecular Ecology Lab and the Molecular Ecology Group for Marine Research (MEGMAR).

In 2009, I moved to Adelaide to establish the MELFU. To date, we have produced over 200 refereed publications and graduated 17 PhDs. Notwithstanding my mid-career status, my lab's alumni have already secured highly competitive tenured track academic positions in the six inhabited continents, including jobs in Australia, USA, Japan, Austria, South Africa and Brazil. I strive to offer the most intellectually rich and friendly research environment to my lab members; this includes an annual 3-day lab retreat in a remote coastal beach in South Australia and several 'MELFU parties'! 

I held an 'ARC (Australian Research Council) Future Fellowship' award between 2014 and 2018, a research-only position aimed at establishing a research program on ecological genomics of fishes.

Research Interests

My work illustrates how natural history and genomics can be integrated to better understand the way organisms interact with their environment, as well as to stimulate public and government interest about the importance of managing and conserving biodiversity. I often use fish populations as indicators of environmental flow and water quality, adaptive resilience, management practices and ecosystem health.

A large component of the work carried out in my research group combines information from genomics and Earth sciences to understand the origins and evolutionary trajectories of populations, to assess the adaptive potential of populations to ongoing and predicted environmental change, and to inform conservation management.

Most of my current projects are in the areas of:

- ecological genomics: the use of genome-wide information to assess environmental correlates and adaptive potential of biodiversity (i.e. landscape genomics - also known as seascape or riverscape genomics);

- conservation and restoration genomics: the use of genetic and genomic knowledge to preserve threatened species;

- comparative phylogeography and speciation: the use of co-distributed datasets to infer population history and diversification;

- sociogenetics: the use of genetic data to understand kinship, parentage and social behavior;

- phylogenetics: the reconstruction of the tree of life.

I am particularly fascinated about understanding biogeographic scenarios and evolutionary processes underlying population divergence, adaptation and speciation in fishes.

For details of research programs and projects please visit this page.

Past and current research includes work on fishes from Amazonia, Patagonia, Pampas, and southern Africa, coastal dolphins, sperm whales and blue whales from the Indian and Pacific Oceans, giant tortoises from the Galapagos, sharks, rays and sea turtles from Mexico and central America, lizards from the Brazilian Cerrado; and wombats, sharks, bony fishes, molluscs, crustaceans, tunicates and sea-urchins from Australia. 

Research Funding:

Over $7.2 million in competitive grants and tenders received as chief investigator (CI), including 11 ARC projects since 2005 (9 of them as lead CI). The list includes:

  • ARC Discovery. 2019-2021 "The evolutionary potential of fragmented and declining populations" $318,000 (Beheregaray & Bernatchez)
  • ARC Linkage. 2019-2022 "Fisheries Genomics of snapper in Australia and New Zealand" $552,000 ARC+ Industry (Beheregaray, Wellenreuther, Fairclough, Fowler, Hamer, Morgan, Stewart)
  • FishGen I, II and II. 2018-2020 - Murray-Darling Basin Authority and NSW DPI. $470K across three contracts (Beheregaray).
  • ARC Future Fellowship. 2013-2018 "Evolution, adaptation and resilience of Australian freshwater fishes" $872,000 + $200,000 University contribution (Beheregaray)
  • ARC Discovery. 2015-2017 "Comparative Evolutionary Genomics of Australian Rainbowfishes" $466,000 (Beheregaray & Bernatchez)
  • ARC Discovery. 2011-2013 "The Genomics of Adaptation to Environmental Change in an Ecologically Important Non-model Aquatic Organism" $310,000 (Beheregaray & Bernatchez)
  • ARC Discovery. 2011-2013 "History, transport, or temperature: solving the riddle of Australia's temperate marine biodiversity" $225,000 (Beheregaray, Moller & Waters)
  • ARC Linkage. 2010-2013 "Restoration Genetics of Five Endangered Fish Species from the Murray-Darling Basin" $555,000 ARC+ Industry (Beheregaray, Harris & Adams)
  • ARC Linkage. 2011-2014 "Genomics for Persistence of Australian Freshwater Fish" $805,000 ARC+ Industry (Sunnucks, Sgro, Lintermans, Beheregaray, Allendorf, Lyon & Luikart)
  • ARC Discovery. 2005-2007 "Comparative Phylogeography and Patterns of Diversification of Amazonian Fishes" $260,000 (Beheregaray)
  • ARC Linkage. 2006-2008 "Phylogeography, Conservation Genetics and Stocking Management of Perches and Basses" $287,000 ARC+ Industry (Beheregaray & Gilligan)
  • Australian Marine Mammal Centre - Australian Antarctic Division. 2010-2011 "Population size, structure and habitat preferences of common dolphins in South Australia" $330,000 (Moller et al.)

Citation Impact:

For updated citation statistics and publications you can visit my page on Google Scholar Citations

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Research Output

Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Assessing the benefits and risks of translocations in depauperate species: A theoretical framework with an empirical validation

    Furlan, E. M., Gruber, B., Attard, C. R. M., Wager, R. N. E., Kerezsy, A., Faulks, L. K., Beheregaray, L. B. & Unmack, P. J., 6 Apr 2020, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 57, 4, p. 831-841 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Fine-scale genetic structure in Lahille’s bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus gephyreus) is associated with social structure and feeding ecology

    Genoves, R. C., Fruet, P. F., Botta, S., Beheregaray, L. B., Möller, L. M. & Secchi, E. R., 6 Feb 2020, In : Marine Biology. 167, 3, 34.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Oceanographic heterogeneity influences an ecological radiation in elasmobranchs

    Sandoval-Castillo, J. & Beheregaray, L. B., 1 Jul 2020, In : Journal of Biogeography. 47, 7, p. 1599-1611 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Population genetic structure of estuary perch (Percalates colonorum Gunther) in south-eastern Australia

    Stoessel, D. J., Van Rooyen, A. R., Beheregaray, L. B., Raymond, S. M. C., Van Wyk, B., Haddy, J., Lieschke, J. & Weeks, A. R., 20 Jul 2020, In : Marine and Freshwater Research. 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Activities

    • 2 Editorial work

    Evolutionary Applications (Journal)

    Luciano Beheregaray (Editor)


    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial work

    Conservation Genetics (Journal)

    Luciano Beheregaray (Editor)


    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial work