Dr Catherine Attard

I am passionate about using genetic and genomic methods to research threatened species and understand local adaptation. My work provides key ecological and evolutionary knowledge that can be used by management agencies. I research Australian freshwater fishes, including pygmy perches (Nannoperca and Nannatherina), golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) and desert rainbowfish (Melanotaenia splendida tatei), and the blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) located in Australia and surrounding regions.

For more information
Website: sites.google.com/site/catherinermattard

Email: catherine.attard@flinders.edu.au

View larger image

Research interests

 Conservation, ecology and evolution

– Genetics and genomics

– Freshwater fishes and marine mammals

Research Experience

– March 2013 – present

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Molecular Ecology Lab & Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab, Flinders University, Australia. Genetics and genomics of native freshwater fishes and blue whales.

– Feb 2008 – April 2014

PhD Candidate, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia. Thesis title: “Genetic diversity, structure and historical demography of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in the Southern Hemisphere”.

 – March 2008 – March 2009

 Research Assistant, Behavioural Ecology Group, Macquarie University, Australia. Microsatellite development for the praying mantid Ciulfina rentzi (Attard et al. 2009) to aid in mantid paternity and population structure analyses.

 – February 2007 – April 2008

Honours Candidate, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia. Thesis title: “Genetic structure of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in the Southern Hemisphere.” 1st Class.


Attard CRM, Brauer CJ, Van Zoelen J, Sasaki M, Hammer MP, Morrison L, Harris JO, Möller LM, Beheregaray LB (2016)  Multi-generational evaluation of genetic diversity and parentage in captive southern pygmy perch (Nannoperca australis). Conservation Genetics doi: 10.1007/s10592-016-0873-y.

-Attard CRM, Beheregaray LB, Möller LM (2016) Towards population-level conservation in the critically endangered Antarctic blue whale: the number and distribution of their populations. Scientific Reports 6: 22291

-Attard CRM, Möller LM, Sasaki M, Hammer M, Bice C, Brauer C, Carvalho D, Harris J, Beheregaray LB (2016) A novel holistic framework for genetic-based captive breeding and reintroduction programs. Conservation Biology doi:10.1111/cobi.12699.

Attard CRM, Beheregaray LB, Jenner JK, Gill P, Jenner M, Morrice M, Teske PR, Möller LM (2015) Low genetic diversity in pygmy blue whales is due to climate-induced diversification rather than anthropogenic impacts. Biology Letters 11: 20141037.

– Attard CRM, Beheregaray LB, Jenner KCS, Gill PC, Jenner M-N, Morrice MG, Robertson KM, Möller LM (2012) Hybridization of Southern Hemisphere blue whale subspecies and a sympatric area off Antarctica: impacts of whaling or climate change? Molecular Ecology. 21: 5715-5727.

– Teske PR, Rius M, McQuaid CD, Styan CA, Piggott MP, Benhissoune S, Fuentes-Grunewald C, Walls K, Page M, Attard CRM, Cooke GM, McClusky CF, Banks SC, Barker NP, Beheregaray LB (2011) “Nested” cryptic species diversity in a widespread marine ecosystem engineer: a challenge for detecting biological invasions. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 11: 176-189

 – Attard C, Beheregaray LB, Jenner C, Gill P, Jenner M, Morrice M, Bannister J, LeDuc R, Möller L (2010) Genetic diversity and structure of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in Australian feeding aggregations. Conservation Genetics. 11(6): 2437-2441

– Rourke, ML, Teske PR, Attard CRM, Gilligan DM, Beheregaray LB (2009) Isolation and characterisation of microsatellite loci in Australian freshwater catfish (Tandanus tandanus). Conservation Genetics Resources. 2(suppl 1): 245-248

– Attard CRM, Holwell GI, Schwartz TS, Umbers KDL, Stow A, Herberstein ME, Beheregaray LB (2009) Microsatellite markers for the praying mantid Ciulfina rentzi (Liturgusidae). Molecular Ecology Resources 9(6): 1480-1482.

 – Jenner C, Jenner M-N, Burton C, Sturrock V, Salgado Kent C, Morrice MG, Attard C, Möller L, Double MC (2008) Mark recapture analysis of pygmy blue whales from the Perth Canyon, Western Australia 2000-2005. International Whaling Comission Scientific Committee SC/60/SH16 (unpublished).