Emeritus Professor Jennifer Graves

BSc Hons, MSc Adelaide; PhD University of California, Berkeley
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Phylogeny And Comparative Analysis 060309
  • Developmental Genetics (Incl. Sex Determination) 060403
  • Cell And Nuclear Division 060402
  • Epigenetics (Incl. Genome Methylation And Epigenomics) 060404
  • Genomics 060408
  • Speciation And Extinction 060311
  • Genome Structure And Regulation 060407
  • Molecular Evolution 060409
  • Genetics 0604


Jenny Graves is an evolutionary geneticist who works on Australian animals, including kangaroos and platypus, devils (Tasmanian) and dragons (lizards). Her group uses their distant relationship to humans to discover how genes and chromosomes and regulatory systems evolved, and how they work in all animals including humans. Her laboratory uses this unique perspective to explore the origin, function and fate of human sex genes and chromosomes, (in)famously predicting the disappearance of the Y chromosome. Jenny received her BSc and MSc from Adelaide University, then a Fulbright Travel Grant took her to the University of California at Barkeley, where she completed her PhD in molecular biology. She joined La Trobe University in 1971 and worked there for many years before moving to ANU in 2001, where she founded the Comparative Genomics department and directed the ARC Centre of Excellence in Kangaroo Genomics. She returned to La Trobe as Distinguished Professor in 2011, and also is Professor Emeritus at ANU, Thinker-in-Residence at Canberra University and Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Jenny has produced three books and more than 400 research articles. She has received many honours and awards, including the Academy’s Macfarlane Burnet medal in 2006 and an AO in 2010. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and was on the Executive for 8 years, first as Foreign Secretary, then as Education Secretary with responsibility for the Academy's science education projects. She is 2006 L’Oreal-UNESCO Laureate for Women in Science and won the 2017 Prime Minister's Prize for Science.



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Updated:  19 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers