Dr Rachael King

Research Scientist Marine Invertebrates

+61 8 8207 7486


Rachael completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne (2001), working within the Marine Invertebrates Section of Museum Victoria. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Cork, Ireland (2001–2003) and later managed the South-eastern Regional Taxonomic Centre in Charleston, South Carolina, USA (2003–2008). She returned to Australia in 2009 to take up a research position at the SA Museum, with funding by the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), and then in 2011 became the head of the Marine Invertebrates Section.


Position at Other Organisation

  • Affiliated Research Fellow, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide


Research Interests    

My research interests focus on the biology, systematics and molecular phylogenetics of amphipod and isopod crustaceans; biodiversity and evolutionary relationships of groundwater associated fauna; biodiversity of marine invertebrates.


Current Research Projects

Resolving the systematics of stygobitic Amphipoda (Crustacea) using morphology and genetic analyses – the Melitidae and Paramelitidae of central Western Australia (Pilbara). R. King, S. Cooper and W. Humphreys (Western Australian Museum).  2011–2014, Australian Biological Resources Study, $247,500.

Exploring the taxonomy, distribution and evolution of a unique subterranean fauna: amphipod crustaceans from the Yilgarn region of central Western Australia. R. King and S. Cooper.  2011–2014, Hermon Slade Foundation, $53,380.


Professional Associations

  • Member, Australian Marine Sciences Association

  • Member, Crustacean Society

  • Member, Royal Society of South Australia

  • Member, Society of Australian Systematic Biologists



BSc (Hons), University of Melbourne (1997)

PhD, University of Melbourne (2002)


Current Teaching Responsibilities          

Supervision of PhD students from the University of Adelaide:

  • Seyedmohammad Javidkar.  Project: Phylogenetics and systematics of the Australian troglobiont isopod genus Trichorhina.


Community Engagement 

Waterhouse Club trip to Coobowie, February 2013

WOMAD, March 2013

Butterfly Conservation Society of South Australia, April 2013


Media Expertise

Marine Invertebrate enquiries (specialised in crustaceans but can discuss jellyfish swarms and other periodic beach/ocean events)

Freshwater invertebrate enquiries (stream invertebrates – crustaceans specifically – but not insects)

Subterranean invertebrate enquiries (those captured in bore water, springs, aquifers)

Good knowledge of the South Australian mound springs and Lake Eyre basin freshwater invertebrates 



  1. Abrams, K. M., Guzik, M.T., Humphreys, W.F., King, R.A., Cho, J.-L., and Austin, A. D. (2012). What lies beneath: Molecular phylogenetics and ancestral state reconstruction of the ancient subterranean Australian Parabathynellidae (Syncarida, Crustacea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2012.03.010
  2. King, R. A., Bradford, T., Austin, A. D., Humphreys W. F., and Cooper, S. J. B. (2012). Divergent molecular lineages and not-so-cryptic species: the first descriptions of stygobitic chiltoniid amphipods from Western Australia. Journal of Crustacean Biology 32: 465–488.
  3. King, R. A. and Leys, R. (2011). The Australian freshwater amphipods Austrochiltonia australis and Austrochiltonia subtenuis (Amphipoda: Talitroidea: Chiltoniidae) confirmed and two new cryptic Tasmanian species revealed using a combined molecular and morphological approach. Invertebrate Systematics 25: 171–196.
  4. Guzik M. T., Austin, A. D., Cooper S. J. B., Harvey M. S., Humphreys, W. F., Bradford, T., Eberhard, S. M., King, R. A., Leys, R., Muirhead, K. A., and Tomlinson, M. (2011). Is the Australian subterranean fauna uniquely diverse? Invertebrate Systematics 24: 407–418.
  5. Pawson, D. L., Pawson, D. J., and King, R. A. (2010). A Taxonomic guide to the Echinodermata of the South Atlantic Bight, USA: 1. Sea Cucumbers (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea).  Zootaxa 2449: 1–48.
  6. King, R. A. (2009). Two new genera and species of chiltoniid amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Talitroidea) from freshwater mound springs in South Australia, Zootaxa, 2293: 35–52.
  7. King, R. A. (2009). Redescription of the freshwater amphipod Austrochiltonia australis (Sayce) (Crustacea: Amphipoda, Chiltoniidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 66: 85–93.
  8. King, R. A. (2009). Ampeliscidae. In: Lowry, J.K. & Myers, A.A. (Eds) (2009) Benthic Amphipoda (Crustacea: Peracarida) of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Zootaxa: 2260: 132–142
  9. King, R. A. (2008). A re-description of Accalathura crenulata (Richardson, 1901) from type material and the description of two new Accalathura species(Crustacea: Isopoda: Anthuridea) Zootaxa 1761: 17–29.
  10. King R. A. and Cawood, A. (2007). A revision of the isopod genus Chiridotea (Isopoda: Chaetiliidae) with species redescriptions and a key. Journal of Crustacean Biology 27: 121–139.