Dr Renfu Shao | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Renfu Shao

BAgrSc Shihezi University, PhD Qld.

  • Senior Lecturer, Science
+61 7 5456 5469
Office location
H1.2.53, Building H, USC Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast
Renfu Shao


Dr Shao has teaching and research experience in the area of genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, parasitology, computation biology, and evolutionary biology. He was an applied geneticist in China and worked on sheep breeding prior to 1998. He completed his PhD at The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2003 on the topic of comparative mitochondrial genomics of hemipteroid insects. Since then, his main research interest has been on the evolution and function of mitochondrial genomes.

Dr Shao is internationally recognised for his discovery of an extensively fragmented mitochondrial genome in multi-celled eukaryotes in 2009.

Dr Shao was awarded an international postdoctoral fellowship by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) in 2003, an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Australian Research Council (ARC) in 2005, and ARC Discovery Project grant in 2011. He also won an Early Career Research grant in 2007 and a ResTeach grant in 2009 at UQ.

Dr Shao joined USC as a USC Research Fellow in January 2012.

Dr Shao collaborates with researchers at UQ, University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, Southwest University (China), Chinese Centre for Disease Control & Prevention, China Agricultural University, Dali University (China), Guizhou University, Shihezi University (China), Beijing Genomics Institute and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Dr Shao is on the Editorial Boards of PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports, and International Journal of Acarology.

Research grants

Project Name Funding Body
The biodiversity, taxonomy and systematics of Australian sucking lice (Psocodea: Phthiraptera: Anoplura) Australian Biological Resources Study National Taxonomy Research Grant Program

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Biodiversity and taxonomy of parasitic lice of native Australian birds
  • Are Asian elephant lice and African elephant lice the same species? A whole mitochondrial genome comparison approach.

Research areas

  • Evolution of mitochondrial genomes
  • Function of mitochondrial genomes
  • Biodiversity, taxonomy and systematics of Australian native sucking lice
  • Biodiversity, taxonomy and molecular phylogeny of parasitic lice of Australian birds

Teaching areas

  • Bioinformatics
  • Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Dr Renfu Shao's area of expertise includes, genetics, molecular biology, mitochondrial genomics, evolution of fragmented mitochondrial genomes and genetic diseases.

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