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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.


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:

- 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:  26 February 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers