Dr. Vicki Thomson is a post-doctoral researcher who is interested in the response of animals to environmental change. Her work includes looking at how and where Australian animals have survived past climate cycles, as well as how they are currently adapting to human-induced environmental change.
Vicki works on many different animals including tiger snakes, echidnas, emus, ghost bats, wedge-tailed eagles, eastern and western grey kangaroos, white-bellied sea eagles, green tree frogs, plus many more.
Dr. Thomson was awarded her PhD in 2013 on ‘Using ancient DNA as an essential tool to explore past Australian biodiversity’ utilizing modern and ancient DNA (at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, University of Adelaide) to answer phylogenetic, phylogeographic, population and conservation genetic questions. She has investigated issues in archaeology and ancient human migration using commensal chicken phylogeography (Thomson, Lebrasseur, Austin, et al. 2014 PNAS), phylogeography of commensal rodents (Thomson, Aplin, Cooper et al. 2014 PLoS One), conservation of a declining rodent species, evolutionary history of Emu species, population genetics of a declining bat species, and phylogenetics of rare rodents.
This research has allowed her to conduct fieldwork in outback Australia, learn morphological identification and morphometric skills, gain ancient DNA laboratory skills, develop relationships with collaborators, museum staff, and other researchers internationally, and learn many cutting-edge analysis methods. Dr. Thomson has also recently developed skills in the extraction of high molecular weight genomic DNA for RAD sequencing and exome capture, and in R and bash scripting.