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Julia Allwood

Researcher Molecular Ecology & Capability Leader
Biocontrol & Molecular Ecology
Julia Allwood
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Research interests

PhD (2014) - Forensic Science, University of Auckland and the Institute of Environmental Sciences Ltd. (ESR)
MSc (2009) - Biological Sciences, University of Auckland (2nd Class honours, 1st Div.)
PgDipSci (2009) - Biological Sciences, University of Auckland (Distinction).
BSc (2006) - Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

Professional Positions
2019 –          Researcher (Molecular Ecology) and Capability Leader, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research
2017 – 2019 PostDoctoral Research Associate, North Carolina State University
2012 – 2017 Research Technician, Ecological Genetics lab, EcoGene™, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research 
2009 – 2013 Doctoral Candidate (University of Auckland), Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR)

Memberships and Select Experiences
2019 - Affiliate member of the Wildlife Forensics Subcommittee of The Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC)
2018 - Reviewer (ad hoc) for Forensic Science International and the Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences among others
2018 - Member of the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science
2018 - Member of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society

Present Research Interests/Specialties
DNA-based approaches contributing to wildlife forensic science applications
Next-Generation Sequencing for conservation genetics and animal forensics
Population genetic analysis
Comparison and transition of microsatellite to single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping
DNA-diagnostic development
Application of environmental DNA (eDNA) to vertebrate conservation and invasive species monitoring

Major achievements/contributions
Successful application and data analysis of animal microsatellite genotyping panels to a sequence-based approach (NGS/MPS)
Development of a standard operating procedure and bioinformatic pipeline for eDNA metabarcoding processing
Key technical personnel member for EcoGene wildlife forensic projects 
Landcare Research Distinguished Service Award (2014)
Ongoing contribution to molecular research focused on the phylogenetics and conservation of native New Zealand invertebrates
Development of a method (laboratory process and model development) to predict eye colour from anonymous DNA in humans


PhD Forensic Science

PgDipSci Biological Sciences (Distinction)

MSc Biological Sciences (2nd Class honours, 1st Div.)

BSc Biological Sciences


  • Member, Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS)
  • Member, Society for Wildlife Forensic Science (SWFS)
  • Affiliate Member, Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), Wildlife Forensics Subcommittee