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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 influence of environmental conditions, including past and future environmental change, on global patterns of biodiversity. I use a wide range of techniques to address research questions, including ecological and genetic approaches, and have a particular focus on the high-latitude ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere (the sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctica), which offer unique opportunities for testing hypotheses about dispersal and survival in extreme environments. See also my lab group's web page:


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. See also my CV.

Researcher's projects

Researchers in my team are studying diverse projects including:

- the influence of volcanoes on biodiversity in Antarctica

- dispersal of parasites with hosts

- biogeography of polar marine species

For more information, visit my lab group's web page:

Available student projects

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

- The role of volcanoes in maintaining biodiversity in the Antarctic throughout past ice ages. Specifically, I have some exciting opportunities for Master and Honours students using DNA to address this question in

   --> Antarctic mosses

    --> Antarctic invertebrates (springtails)

- Long-distance dispersal of parasites with their hosts

- 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

Rachel Downey, PhD student, 2017 -

Rachel is researching Southern Ocean sponge phylogeography to help us understand connectivity and climate change impacts in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic.


Past student projects

PhD Students:

  • Laura Wilson: Connectivity of tropical marine ecosystems in north-western Australiasia.

Honours students:

  • Laura Smith: Identifying glacial refugia through meta-analysis of genetic diversity in Antarctic springtails
  • Callum Blake: the broad-scale distribution of the phytomyxean gall-forming parasite Maullinia associated with southern bull kelp species (Durvillaea) in Chile and Australia.
  • Xenia Weber: Identifying cryptic species in southern bull kelp in Australia
  • 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:  27 April 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers