Dr Celine Frere

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Dr Celine Frere


Teaching areas

  • Animal Behaviour

Research areas

  • evolutionary biology
  • animal behaviour
  • genetics


Dr Celine Frere is a molecular ecologist with a keen interest in social evolution, social selection and genomics. She is interested in how genetic and non-genetic inheritance patterns interact to drive phenotypic evolution in natural populations, how genes evolve within social environments, fauna restoration in disturbed landscapes, and how animals adapt to urbanisation. She has worked on a broad range of plant and animal species including koalas, giraffes, sorghum, dolphins and eastern water dragons, and is particularly interested in incorporating an individual’s ecological landscape in our understanding of evolution.

Dr Frere grew up in Switzerland and moved to Australia in 2000 to undertake university education. She obtained her PhD at the University of New South Wales in late 2009, under the supervision of Professor William Sherwin. After completing her PhD, Celine undertook several post-doctoral positions including a position under the guidance of Professor Ian Godwin (University of Queensland). Prior to her commencement as a Research Fellow at USC in 2013, she held a lectureship at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. Dr Frere also currently holds adjunct appointments at the University of Queensland and Murdoch University.

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • The physiology of dominance behaviour in eastern water dragons
  • Investigating the extent of social plasticity in female bottlenose dolphins: what can temporal and spatial social variation tell us about the ecological basis of mammalian sociality
  • Sexual selection and sociality in male eastern water dragons
  • Utilising genomics in better understanding the genetic basis of behavioural traits
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