The Museum's Evolutionary Biology Unit (EBU) research scientists use molecular (DNA, RNA and protein) methods to explore fundamental questions about evolution and ecology.
While much of EBU’s work centres on Australasian fauna and flora, relationships between our fauna and that of the rest of the world are also of interest. The Unit is led by Professor Steve Donnellan and includes research scientists, technical staff and research students. Many of the research students are supervised directly or co-supervised by EBU staff.
With expertise in systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, population genetics, conservation biology and wildlife forensics, EBU’s research interests are diverse and utilise most of the natural history collections of the Museum.
The South Australian Regional Facility for Molecular Ecology and Evolution (SARFMEE) is housed at the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace campus adjacent to the South Australian Museum. It provides a central resource for South Australian researchers using molecular genetic techniques in evolutionary and ecological studies. The Facility, managed by Dr Tessa Bradford, features high throughput generation of molecular genetic data through automated liquid-handling robotics and efficient access to next generation sequencing and bioinformatics services.
The Evolutionary Biology Unit is the core partner in SARFMEE. The University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of South Australia and the South Australian Department of Environment and Water also partner in the operation of the facility. The facility has more than 100 active clients contributing to numerous ongoing research projects as well as a wide network of links to other Australian universities, museums and international research groups.