Molecular Ecologist

Dr Laurence Clarke

Dr Laurence Clarke is a Molecular Ecologist with the ACE CRC and the Australian Antarctic Division Ecological Genetics group. He uses genetic approaches to study Southern Ocean and Antarctic ecosystems.

Laurence uses the power of high-throughput DNA sequencing to study systems that cannot be easily investigated using other approaches, including krill-associated bacteria, unicellular plankton, intracellular plankton parasites, and trophic interactions between fish and their prey. His work is providing insights into the importance of gelatinous prey in the diet of Southern Ocean fish, how the ecological drivers of plankton communities change with size from the nano- to the microplankton, and the prevalence of parasites in Southern Ocean ecosystems.

Laurence was awarded his PhD from the University of Wollongong in 2008. As ARC post-doctoral fellow at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD, University of Adelaide), Laurence led a group using environmental DNA (eDNA) approaches and high-throughput DNA sequencing to perform biodiversity surveys in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Laurence co-convened the first Hobart Molecular Ecology workshop in November 2017, and the first Microbiomes in Tasmania workshop in October 2018.

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Authorised by the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre October 2019.

The ACE CRC was established and supported under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program.

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