The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Liz Sinclair

Dr Elizabeth Sinclair

Senior Research Fellow
Biological Sciences, School of

Contact details
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M084)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 9480 3642
+61 8 9480 3641

Senior Research Fellow
UWA Oceans Institute

Contact details
UWA Oceans Institute
The University of Western Australia (M084)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 9480 3642
+61 8 9480 3641
BSc ANU, PhD W.Aust
Liz is interested in using molecular approaches to address issues in evolutionary biology and conservation including the application of genetic data for conservation and management of threatened and endangered species, comparative phylogeography, and molecular systematics. She has been involved in conservation genetics research in both terrestrial and marine systems, including a range of vertebrate, invertebrate and plants species. This gives her a unique perspective in understanding connectivity and the importance of conserving individual species and ecosystems.

Since 2008, she has been researching patterns of genetic diversity and connectivity at different spatial scales in temperate Australian seagrasses (Posidonia spp.), from clonal diversity, mating systems, population genetics, long distance dispersal and recruitment. Genetic patterns are interpreted using a multidisciplinary approach – oceanography, regional hydrodynamic spatial modeling, and life history traits (pollen and seed dispersal and recruitment). This research contributes to an understanding of the processes impacting on marine connectivity across the Australian continental shelf ecosystems and makes an important contribution to the development of benthic biodiversity conservation planning and restoration practices.
Book chapters:
McMahon K, SINCLAIR EA, van Dijk K-J, Hernawan U, Verduin J & Waycott M (in press) Genetic connectivity in tropical and temperate Australian seagrass species In Seagrasses of Australia (eds Larkum AWD, Ralph P, Kendrick GA), Springer Publishing.

Statton J, Dixon KW, Irving AD, Jackson EL, Kendrick GA, Orth RJ & SINCLAIR EA (in press) Decline and restoration ecology of Australian seagrasses In Seagrasses of Australia (eds Larkum AWD, Ralph P, Kendrick GA), Springer Publishing.

SINCLAIR EA, Pérez-Losada M & Crandall KA (2005) Molecular phylogenetics for conservation in Purvis A, Gittleman JL & Brooks TM. (eds.) Phylogeny and Conservation. Cambridge University Press Pp. 19-56.

Peer-reviewed articles:
Ritchie AL, Dyer RJ, Nevill PG, SINCLAIR EA & Krauss SL (submitted) Wide outcrossing provides genetic connectivity and resilience for restoration of a bird-pollinated tree in a fragmented urban landscape. Annals of Botany

Evans SM, SINCLAIR EA, Poore AGB, Bain KF & Vergés A (2017) Assessing the effect of genetic diversity on the early establishment of the threatened seagrass Posidonia australis using a reciprocal-transplant experiment. Restoration Ecology doi: 10.1111/rec.12595

Miller BP, SINCLAIR EA, Menz MHM, Elliott CP, Bunn E, Commander LE, Dalziell E, David E, Erickson TE, Golos PJ, Krauss SL, Lewandrowski W, Mayence CE, Merino-Martin L, Merritt DJ, Nevill P, Davis B, Phillips RD, Ritchie AL, Ruoss S & Stevens J (2017) A framework for the practical science necessary to restore sustainable, resilient and biodiverse ecosystems. Restoration Ecology 25: 605-617.

Ritchie AL, Nevill PG, SINCLAIR EA, & Krauss SL (2017) Measuring the effect of plant species diversity on reproductive functionality in restored Banksia populations. Restoration Ecology 25: 414-423.

Kendrick GA, Orth, RJ, Statton J, Hovey R, Ruiz-Montoya L, Lowe RJ, Krauss SL & SINCLAIR EA (2017) Demographic and genetic connectivity: the role and consequences of reproduction, dispersal and recruitment in seagrasses. Biological Reviews 92: 921-938.

York PH, Smith TM, Coles RG, McKenna S, Connolly RM, Irving A, Jackson EL, McMahon K, Runcie J, Sherman CDH, Sullivan B, Trevathan-Tackett S, Brodersen K, Carter AB, Ewers C, Lavery P, Roelfsema C, Samper-Villarreal J, SINCLAIR EA, Strydom S, Tanner J, van Dijk K-J, Warry F, Waycott M & Whitehead S (2016) Identifying a strategic direction for seagrass research to address knowledge gaps: an Australian perspective. Marine Environmental Research 27: 167-172.

SINCLAIR EA, Anthony JM, Greer D, Ruiz-Montoya L, Evans SM, Krauss SL & Kendrick GA (2016) Genetic signatures of Bassian glacial refugia and contemporary connectivity in a marine foundation species. Journal of Biogeography 43: 2209-2222.

Evans SM, SINCLAIR EA, Poore AGB, Bain KF, Vergés A (2016) Genotypic richness predicts phenotypic variation in an endangered clonal plant. PeerJ 4:E1633.

SINCLAIR EA, Statton J, Hovey R, Anthony J, Dixon KW, Kendrick GA (2016) Reproduction at the extremes: pseudovivipary and genetic mosaicism in Posidonia australis Hooker (Posidoniaceae). Annals of Botany 117: 237-247.

SINCLAIR EA, Hovey R, Statton J, Fraser MW, Cambridge ML & Kendrick GA (2016) Comment on ‘Seagrass viviparous propagules as a potential long- distance dispersal mechanism’ by A. C. G. Thomson et al. 2014. Estuaries and Coasts DOI 10.1007/s12237-014-9850-1. Estuaries and Coasts 39: 290-293.

SINCLAIR EA, Krauss SL, Anthony J, Hovey R, Kendrick GA. (2014) The interaction of environment and genetic diversity within meadows of the seagrass Posidonia australis (Posidoniaceae). Marine Ecology Progress Series 506: 87-98.

SINCLAIR EA, Gecan I, Krauss SL, Kendrick GA. (2014) Against the odds: complete outcrossing in a monoecious clonal seagrass Posidonia australis (Posidoniaceae). Annals of Botany 113: 1185-1196.

Evans SM, SINCLAIR EA, Steinberg PD, Vergés A, Poore AGB, Kendrick GA. (2014) Genetic diversity in threatened Posidonia australis seagrass meadows. Conservation Genetics 15: 717-728.

Noonan BP, Pramuk JB, Bezy RL, SINCLAIR EA, de Queiroz K & Sites JW Jr (2013) Phylogenetic relationships within the lizard clade Xantusiidae: Using trees and divergence times to address evolutionary questions at multiple levels. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69: 109-122.

Krauss SL, SINCLAIR EA, Bussell JD & Hobbs RJ (2013) An ecological genetic delineation of local seed-source provenance for ecological restoration. Ecology and Evolution 3: 2138-2149.

Ritchie A, Krauss SL, Nevill P, SINCLAIR EA, & Dixon KW. (2013) The birds and the bees and the Banksia mating trees: measuring the success of Banksia woodland restoration using genetic and ecological markers. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 96: 24-25.

SINCLAIR EA, Verduin J, Krauss SL, Hardinge J, Anthony J & Kendrick GA (2013) A genetic assessment of a successful Seagrass meadow (Posidonia australis) restoration trial. Ecological Management and Restoration 14: 68-71.

Kendrick GA, Waycott M, Carruthers T, Cambridge M, Hovey R, Krauss SL, Lavery P, Les D, Lowe R, Mascaró O, Ooi Lean Sim J, Orth RJ, Rivers D, Ruiz-Montoya L, SINCLAIR EA, Statton J, van Dijk K, Verduin J (2012) The central role of dispersal in the maintenance and persistence of seagrass populations. BioScience 62: 56-65.

SINCLAIR EA, Madson A, Walsh T, Nelson J & Crandall KA (2011) Cryptic genetic divergence in the giant Tasmanian freshwater crayfish, Astacopsis gouldi (Decapoda: Parastacidae); implications for conservation. Animal Conservation 14: 87-97.

SINCLAIR EA & Barrett R (2010) Morphological and molecular assessment of Desmocladus flexuosus and D. asper (Restionaceae). Nuytsia 20: 7-17.

Swarts ND, SINCLAIR EA, Francis A & Dixon KW (2010) Ecological specialization in mycorrhizal symbiosis leads to rarity in an endangered terrestrial orchid. Molecular Ecology 19: 3226-3242.

Anthony JM, Phillips RD, SINCLAIR EA & Dixon KW (2010) Characterisation of polymorphic microsatellite markers isolated from Drakaea glyptodon Fitz. (Orchidaceae). Conservation Genetics Resources 2: 291-294.

SINCLAIR EA, Pramuk JB, Bezy RL, Crandall KA & Sites JW Jr (2010) DNA evidence for non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis in vertebrates. Evolution 64: 1346–1357.

SINCLAIR EA, Krauss SL, Cheetham B & Hobbs RJ (2010) High genetic diversity in a clonal, relict Alexgeorgea nitens (Restionaceae): implications for ecological restoration. Australian Journal of Botany 58: 206-213.

SINCLAIR EA, Anthony JM, Coupland GT, Waycott M, Barrett MD, Barrett RL, Cambridge ML, Wallace MJ, Dixon KD, Krauss SL & Kendrick GA (2009) Characterisation of polymorphic microsatellite markers in the widespread Australian seagrass, Posidonia australis Hook. f. (Posidoniaceae), with cross-amplification in the sympatric P. sinuosa. Conservation Genetics Resources 1: 273-276.

Swarts ND, SINCLAIR EA, Krauss SL & Dixon KW (2009) Genetic diversity in fragmented populations of the critically endangered spider orchid Caladenia huegelii: implications for conservation. Conservation Genetics 10: 1199-1208.

SINCLAIR EA & Hobbs RJ (2009) Sample size effects on estimates of population genetic structure: implications for ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology 17: 837-844.

SINCLAIR EA & Hyder BM (2009) Surviving Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) population on the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy 31: 67-69.

SINCLAIR EA, Cheetham B, Krauss SL & Hobbs RJ (2008) Morphological and molecular variation in Conospermum triplinervium R.Br (Proteaceae), the tree smokebush, and their implications for bushland restoration. Australian Journal of Botany 56: 451-460.

Swarts ND, SINCLAIR EA & Dixon KW (2007) Characterisation of microsatellite loci in the endangered grand spider orchid Caladenia huegelii (Orchidaceae). Molecular Ecology Notes 7: 1141-1143.

SINCLAIR EA, Bussell JD, Krauss SL, Hobbs RJ & Dixon KW (2006) Molecular markers detect multiple origins of Agonis flexuosa (Myrtaceae) plants used in urban bushland restoration. Ecological Management and Restoration 7: 234-235.

SINCLAIR EA, Scholl R, Bezy RL, Crandall KA & Sites JW Jr (2006) Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in the yellow-spotted night lizard Lepidophyma flavimaculatum. Molecular Ecology Notes 6: 233-236.

Shull HC, Pérez-Losada M, Blair D, Sewel K, SINCLAIR EA, Lawler S, Ponniah M & Crandall KA (2005) Phylogeny of the freshwater crayfish Euastacus (Decapoda: Parastacidae) based on four nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 249-263.

SINCLAIR EA, Fetzner JW, Buhay J & Crandall KA (2004) Proposal to complete a phylogenetic taxonomy and systematic revision for freshwater crayfish (Astacida). Freshwater Crayfish 14: 21-29.

SINCLAIR EA, Bezy RL, Camarillo J, Bolles K, Crandall KA & Sites JW Jr (2004) Testing species boundaries in an ancient species complex with deep phylogeographic history: genus Xantusia (Squamata: Xantusiidae). The American Naturalist 163: 396-414.

SINCLAIR EA, Black HL & Crandall KA (2003) Microsatellite variation in a wild American black bear (Ursus americanus) population: a look at home range, relatedness, and multiple paternity. Western North American Naturalist 63: 489-497.

Wright EJ, SINCLAIR EA, Annis PC (2002) Laboratory determination of the requirements for control of Trogoderma variabile (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) by heat. Journal of Stored Products Research 38: 147–155.

SINCLAIR EA, Costello B, Courtenay JM & Crandall KA (2002) Detecting a genetic bottleneck in Gilbert’s Potoroo (Potorous gilbertii) (Marsupialia: Potoroidae), inferred from microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Conservation Genetics 3: 191-196.

DeWeerdt S, Crandall KA, Moritz C, SINCLAIR EA, Waples R & Wayne R (2002) What really is an evolutionary significant unit? The debate over integrating genetics and ecology in conservation biology. Conservation in Practice 3: 10-17.

SINCLAIR EA (2001) Phylogeographic variation in the quokka, Setonix brachyurus (Marsupialia: Macropodidae). Animal Conservation 4: 325-333.

SINCLAIR EA (2001) Microgeographic variation in two relict island populations of the quokka, Setonix brachyurus, assessed by allozyme electrophoresis. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 84: 111-116.

SINCLAIR EA, Swenson E, Bates W, Choate D, Wolf M & Crandall KA (2001) Gene flow estimates in Utah's cougars imply management beyond Utah. Animal Conservation 4: 257-264.

SINCLAIR EA, Murch AR, Di Renzo M & Palermo M (2000) Chromosome morphology in Gilbert’s Potoroo, Potorous gilbertii (Marsupialia: Potoroidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 48: 281-287.

Harris DJ, SINCLAIR EA, Mercador NL, Marshall J, & Crandall KA (1999) Squamate relationships based on C-mos nuclear DNA sequences. Herpetological Journal 9: 147-151.

SINCLAIR EA (1998) Morphological variation among populations of the quokka, Setonix brachyurus (Macropodidae: Marsupialia), in Western Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 46: 439-449.

SINCLAIR EA & Westerman M (1997) The molecular relationship of Gilbert's Potoroo (Marsupialia: Potoroidae). Journal of Mammalian Evolution 4: 147-161.

SINCLAIR EA, Danks A & Wayne AF (1996) Rediscovery of Gilbert's Potoroo, Potorous tridactylus, in Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy 19: 69-72.

SINCLAIR EA, Webb NJ, Marchant AD & Tidemann CR (1996) Determination of genetic variation in the Little Red Flying-fox, Pteropus scapulatus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae): implications for management. Biological Conservation 76: 45-50.

Science communications:
Ritchie AL, SINCLAIR EA, Stevens J, Commander L, Davis R, Fowler W (2016) EcoCheck: Perth’s Banksia woodlands are in the path of the sprawling city.

SINCLAIR EA, Walker DI, Kendrick GA (2015) Why are Australia’s marine parks being reviewed so soon after they were signed off?

SINCLAIR EA, Techera E (2015) Dead whales are expensive – whose job is it to clear them up? The Conversation.

Verduin J, SINCLAIR EA (2013) Seagrass meadow restoration trial using transplants – Cockburn Sound, Western Australia

SINCLAIR EA, Friend JA (2013) Australian endangered species: Gilbert's Potoroo. The Conversation.

Popular articles:
SINCLAIR EA (2017) New beginning - bottleneck in the cycle of seagrass life. For People and Plants Winter: 24-26.

SINCLAIR EA (2014) Sexual promiscuity in the shallows. For People and Plants Summer: 27-30.

SINCLAR, EA (2012) Dispersal on the high seas - the ecological genetics of seagrass seed dispersal. For People and Plants Autumn: 20-22.

Krauss SL, SINCLAIR EA, Stingemore J & Hufford K (2011) A practical genetic contribution towards best-practice seed-sourcing guidelines for ecological restoration. Australasian Plant Conservation 19: 23-24.

SINCLAIR EA (2009) Restoration genetics of seagrass meadows. For People and Plants Summer: 20-21.

SINCLAIR EA (2008) A molecular look at bushland restoration. For People and Plants Summer: 22-24.

SINCLAIR EA & Morris K (1996) Where have all the quokkas gone? Landscope (Summer): 49-53.

Start T, Burbidge A, SINCLAIR EA & Wayne AF (1995) Lost and Found - Potoroos. Landscope (Autumn): 28-33.

Research reports:
SINCLAIR EA (2012) Annual Report to the Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan: Genetic diversity in Posidonia australis meadows. Report #59 from the Genetics Laboratory, BGPA Science Directorate.

SINCLAIR EA (2011) Annual Report to the Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan: Genetic diversity in Posidonia australis meadows. Genetics Laboratory, 
BGPA Science Directorate.

SINCLAIR EA (2010) Report on Population genetics of Posidonia australis. Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan. Synthesis Report, July 2003 to June 2010. Oceanica Consulting.

SINCLAIR EA (2010) Annual Report to the Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan: Genetic diversity in Posidonia australis meadows. Genetics Laboratory, 
BGPA Science Directorate.

SINCLAIR EA (2009) Assessment of population genetic variation in Posidonia australis: update on the key outcomes of seagrass provenance research, February –June 2009. Report #46 from the Genetics Laboratory, BGPA Science Directorate.

SINCLAIR EA (2009) Restoration genetics of seagrass meadows. Friends of Kings Park Quarterly Magazine Summer: 20-21. Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, West Perth.

SINCLAIR EA & Hyder BM (2008) A survey of the Muddy Lakes area for Quokkas (Setonix brachyurus). Confidential report to the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts, Canberra.
Funding received
2013-2016 ARC Linkage grant GA Kendrick et al. Ecological and genetic connectivity in seagrasses: the role of sexual reproduction, dispersal and recruitment on meadow restoration.
2010-2013 ARC Linkage grant GA Kendrick et al. Establishing genetic guidelines for the effective ecological restoration of seagrass meadows.
2008-2010 Cockburn Cement and Department of State Development, WA
2008 Dept. of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra
Seagrass Restoration Network
Society for Ecological Restoration
Australian Marine Science Association
Member of the Royal Society of Western Australia
Member of the Mammal Society of Australia
Member of the Genetics Society of AustralAsia
Previous positions
2008 - 2010 Adjunct Researcher, School of Plant Biology, UWA
2008 - 2010 Research Scientist, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, WA
2008 Consultant Scientist to Department of Environment and Water Resources, Canberra
2004 - 2007 Research Associate, School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University
1998 - 2004 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Brigham Young University, USA


2016 - Henry Lambert BGPA Summer Scholarship Student

2011 - 2014 Suzy Evans PhD University of New South Wales Topic: Genetic diversity and trophic interactions in seagrass beds
Co-supervisors: Dr Adriana Verges, Dr Alistair Poore, Dr Peter Steinberg

2010 - 2014 Alison Ritchie PhD University of Western Australia Topic: A genetic assessment of ecological restoration success
Co-supervisors: Dr Siegy Krauss, Dr Paul Nevill, Prof Kingsley Dixon

2012 Ilena Gecan Honours University of Western Australia Topic: Realized pollen dispersal in the seagrass Posidonia australis
Co-supervisors: Dr Siegy Krauss, Prof Gary Kendrick

Current external positions
AMSA WA General board member
Useful links
Current projects
Ecological and genetic connectivity in seagrasses: the role of sexual reproduction, dispersal and recruitment on meadow restoration
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

This Page

Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM