ECMU Technical Officer, CDU
See Alea’s full research profile here.
What are your research interests as they relate to northern Australia?
My research interests lay in understanding the invisible ecological stories of waters in northern Australian. Although tiny, bacteria play a critical role in our survival and are environmental workhorses; converting chemicals into forms that we can use and sometimes causing disease-outbreak. I enjoy studying the ecology of bacteria in the environment and their relationships with water quality. I do this by collecting and isolating their DNA from water then sequencing the DNA to identify them. Recently, I have expanded my research to include animal DNA shed into the water through saliva, faeces, blood hair or feathers. Once we have isolated the animal DNA, also known as ‘eDNA’, we can use the identified species to help understand animal distributions in Northern Australia.
What do you love about working in northern Australia?
Northern Australia is home. I grew up here and love our seasons, changing landscapes and the charismatic fauna.