Dr Georgina Cooke
Research Associate
Field of Research: 
Molecular ecology, evolutionary biology
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 2213

Room 406, D26 Building
UNSW, Kensington 2052

Georgina Cooke.JPG

Research & Current Projects

Primarily, I am interested in how DNA can be used to address fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. In 2011 I completed my PhD (Macquarie University, Sydney) studying the origin of Amazonian fish diversity.  Using a range of molecular markers and analytical approaches, I studied the spatial distributions of neutral and adaptive genetic diversity within the context of geomorphogical history, tributary arrangement and hydrochemistry for five co-distributed species of Amazonian freshwater fish. 

Together with the Ord Lab, I am currently researching the evolution of a ‘fish out of water’. Using a combination of genetic, ecological and behavioural data, we are studying the origin of terrestriality in a small group of Blenny fish genera. Collectively, these living land-dwelling, amphibious and aquatic fishes provide a unique opportunity to study the evolutionary spectrum of terrestriality, serving as powerful analogues to how fish left the water during the Devonian.

Big Boy Blenny!

 See also Dr Georgina Cooke



Cooke GM, Chao, NL, Beheregaray LB (2012) Natural selection in the water: freshwater invasion and isolation by adaptation to water colour in the Amazonian pufferfish,submitted to Journal of Evolutionary Biology, doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02514.x

Cooke GM, Chao, NL, Beheregaray LB (2012) Divergent natural selection with gene flow along major environmental gradients in Amazonia: Insights from genome scans, population genetics and phylogeography of the characin fish Triportheus albus, Molecular Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05540.x Online early

Cooke GM, King AG, Miller L, Johnson RJ (2012) A rapid molecular method to detect the invasive golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1822), Conservation Genetics Resources, DOI: 10.1007/s12686-011-9599-9 Online early

Cooke GM, Chao, NL, Beheregaray LB (2012)Marine incursion, cryptic species and ecological diversification in Amazonia: the biogeographic history of the croaker genusPlagioscion (Sciaenidae), Journal of Biogeography, 39, 724-738

Teske PR, Rius M, McQuaid CD, Styan CA, Piggott MP, Benhissoune S, Fuentes-Grünewald C, Walls K, Page M, Attard CRM, Cooke GM, McClusky CF, Banks SC, Barker NP and Beheregaray LB (2011) "Nested" cryptic diversity in a widespread marine ecosystem engineer: a challenge for detecting biological invasions, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11, 1471-2148

Cooke GM, Chao, NL, Beheregaray LB (2009) Phylogeography of a flooded forest specialist fish from central Amazonia based on intron DNA: the cardinal tetra,Paracheirodon axelrodiFreshwater Biology54, 1216-1232

Cooke GM, Beheregaray LB (2007) Extremely high variability in the S72 intron of the Amazonian cardinal tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi). Journal of Fish Biology 71, 132-140.