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The Australian National University

Dr Ceridwen (Crid) Fraser

BAppSc (Canberra); BMarSc (Hons) (Macquarie); PhD (Otago)
Senior Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
T: +61-2-61255018

Research interests

I am broadly interested in the biogeography and evolution of Southern Hemisphere species, and how climate change might affect their distributions and survival. I use both ecological and genetic techniques to address research questions, and have a particular interest in the high-latitude ecosystems of the cool-temperate, sub-polar and polar Southern Hemisphere (i.e. encompassing southern Australia, New Zealand, South America, South Africa, the sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctica).


I have an undergraduate degree in conserving cultural materials (paper conservation), but did another in marine science when an early-life crisis sent me hurtling back to my dream of being a marine biologist. My Honours year was spent working on polychaete worms at the Australian Museum. I then moved across the ditch to study for my PhD in the Department of Zoology at the University of Otago (New Zealand), graduating in 2009. I worked as a postdoctoral fellow with the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution (hosted at the University of Otago), followed by a postdoc in the Biological Control and Spatial Ecology group at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, before moving to the Australian National University in mid 2012 to take up a position as a lecturer in the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

Researcher's projects

Current key projects: click here

Main project: Volcanoes as safe-havens for Antarctic species during ice ages - ARC (DECRA) project, January 2014 - December 2016

More information: click here

Recent, past projects: click here

Subantarctic Marion Island with penguins in background

Collecting bull-kelp (Durvillaea antarctica) samples on subantarctic Marion Island, 2007


Media highlights

Several research findings have featured in news articles around the world. For links to some of these articles, click here  

Available student projects

I have several upcoming projects that could involve Honours or postgraduate students, such as:

- Studying the indirect impacts, via ectoparasite load changes, of climate change on iconic animals such as penguins, and the phylogeography and population connectivity of these parasites.

- The role of volcanoes in maintaining and structuring biodiversity in the Antarctic throughout Pleistocene climate change cycles.

- Assessing marine biogeographic barriers in south-eastern Australia

- Identifying cryptic species in southern bull-kelp (Durvillaea)

- Determining the sources of invasive species on sub-Antarctic islands

- Southward range shifts in south-eastern Australian species

Current student projects

Katie Moon, PhD student, 2014 -

Katie is studying population connectivity, host specificity and genetic / species diversity in ticks and other ectoparasites affecting various penguin species throughout the Southern Hemisphere. For more information, see Katie's web page, by clicking here.

Katie collecting parasites from a Little Blue Penguin

Laura Wilson, PhD student, 2014 -

Laura is studying the connectivity of tropical marine ecosystems in north-western Australasia with a focus on Sargassum seaweed rafting. Laura's project will use genetic (phylogeographic) and remote sensing approaches. For more information, see Laura's web page, by clicking here.


Xenia Weber, Honours student, 2015

Xenia is researching the ecological, morphological and genetic variation in Tasmanian bull kelp (Durvillaea potatorum) populations to identify cryptic species. Xenia is the recipient of an ABRS grant for her project.


Laura Smith, Honours student, 2015

Laura is using genetic approaches to study phylogeographic structure in benthic marine polychaete worms in Victorian estuaries. Laura's project involves collaboration with researchers at the Museum of Victoria and the Australian Museum.


Callum Blake, Honours student, 2015-2016

Callum is looking at the broad-scale distribution of the phytomyxean gall-forming pathogen Maullinia associated with southern bull kelp species (Durvillaea). Callum will also use SCUBA diving to measure the impact of these pathogens on bull kelp populations along the southeastern Australian and Chilean coasts.

Past student projects

Honours students:

  • Katie Moon: Evolutionary history and dispersal capacity of Little Blue Penguin Ticks
  • Amy Macris: Genetic diversity in alpine tree frogs (Litoria verreauxii alpina)

Independent Research Project students:

  • Alex Harrison: Pumice rafting as a transportation agent for marine life: relationships between clast volume / porosity and biomass / diversity
  • Laura Smith: Assessing marine worm dispersal potential among estuaries in NSW
  • Victor Wang: Reproductive and dispersal strategies underpin density dependent demographic processes
  • Wei (Cheng) Tan: Ectoparasite dispersal by an aquatic bird


Projects and Grants

Grants are drawn from ARIES. To add Projects or Grants please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  14 October 2015 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers