Staff profile: Prof. Rebecca Johnson
- Position title:
- Director, Australian Museum Research Institute
- +612 9320 6106
- Contact Prof. Rebecca Johnson using the form below
Rebecca is a Wildlife Forensic Scientist, conservation geneticist and Chief Scientist of the Australian Museum. Rebecca became Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute in April 2015 and is the first female to hold this position in the AM's 191 year history. She is chief investigator of the Koala Genome Consortium, an Australian led group carrying out sequencing of the koala genome and it’s genes for direct conservation application and, as Director of AMRI, the co-founder of the Oz Mammals Genome Initiative.
She has an honours degree from the University of Sydney and PhD from La Trobe University Melbourne in the field of molecular evolutionary genetics and has worked as a molecular geneticist, in Australia and the USA before joining the museum in 2003. Since then she has established the Museum as one of the global leaders in the field of wildlife forensics and conservation genomics through the ISO17025 accreditation of the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics facilities (one of the only fully accredited wildlife forensics laboratories in the Australasian region). She is one of only two experts appointed by the Federal Environment Minister as an examiner in wildlife forensics under the EPBC commonwealth legislation section 303GS(1).
Rebecca is an adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, a member of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences, she is Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society NSW Branch president, and Director of Membership & Outreach for the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science. She represents the Museum on 14 government and industry committees.
Rebecca is an adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, a member of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences, is Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society NSW Branch president, and Director of Membership & Outreach for the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science. She represents the Museum 14 government and industry committees. July 2017 Rebecca was named one of the 30 inaugural “SuperStars of STEM” by Science and Technology Australia. She was awarded the 2016 University of Sydney, Faculty of Science Alumni Award for Professional Achievement and in September 2016 was also announced as one of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac “100 Women of Influence” in the Innovation category. Rebecca has also received a Chief Executive Women (CEW) scholarship to attend the INSEAD business school for executive leadership and in 2018 was recognised as a “Vogue 2018 Game Changer” in the Tech & Innovation category; named one of CEO Magazine’s ‘10 leading business women in Australia’ for 2018; and awarded the 2018 Eureka Prize AMRI medal recognising research excellence.
She is passionate about conservation, reducing the illegal wildlife trade and the importance of STEM education in contributing to positive environmental outcomes. She is frequently invited to present her research both in Australia and overseas and regularly presents to students and the public on the importance of conservation research, wildlife forensic science and the key roles and museums can play in making a difference through their science.
BSc (Hons) University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
PhD Molecular Evolutionary Genetics LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Certified Wildlife Forensic Scientist #124, Society for Wildlife Forensic Science
Appointed as a Wildlife Forensic Examiner by the Australian Federal Environment Minister under section 303GS(1) of Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Protection Act 1999
Fellow Royal Society of New South Wales
Graduate of the ‘Leading for Results' course, INSEAD, Singapore
2018 Named one of the CEO Magazine’s ‘10 leading business women in Australia’
2018 AM Eureka Prizes ‘AMRI Medal’
2018 ‘Vogue Game Changer 2018’ Tech and Business category
2017 SuperStar of STEM, Science and Technology Australia
2016 Chief Executive Women (CEW) Scholarship to attend INSEAD Business School
2016 "100 Women of Influence" Innovation Category, The Australian Financial Review & Westpac
2016 Faculty of Science Alumni Award for Professional Achievement, University of Sydney
Member, Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
NSW Branch President, Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS)
Director of Membership & Outreach, Society for Wildlife Forensic Science (SWFS)
Member, Genetics Society of Australia (GSA)
Member, International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG)
Member, International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG)