Lisa Kirkendale

Head of Department and Curator (Molluscs)

Aquatic Zoology

BSc., MSc., PhD.


+61 (8) 9212 3747


Molluscs are the second largest class of invertebrates, with representatives occupying most ecosystems on the planet with a long evolutionary history and fossil record that makes them excellent system for addressing diversity of big questions. Current projects involve assessing resilience of Australian oyster genetic resources (FRDC grant with team from UOW in NSW) with future plans to detail taxonomy of this economically important but taxonomically challenging group with partners. Drawing on her doctoral research she is developing a chapter on photosymbiosis in Bivalvia for new Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology with Dr. Gustav Paulay, as well as working with international collaborators on little studied members of photosymbiotic cardiids from divergence time estimation, character trait evolution (Jingchun Li, Michigan), description of new species, systematics (Dr. Peter Middelfart), etc. She has working relationship with local ROV company TMT to apply biological/taxonomic ‘tags’ to video/imagery from recent deep sea work in Perth Canyon.

Collections: Lisa and the mollusc technical staff are developing a new collections management policy for Molluscs that reflects changing needs of access to and technology for best use/practises. This strategy will refine scientific vouchers and ‘grow’ a high quality education collection for use by exhibits, education and outreach. Pressing need to database the large mollusc collection (wet and dry) and that is proceeding inhouse, as well as with accessory technical staff as available. A diversity of other small projects (e.g. labelling, regular maintenance, type and loan audits) are proceeding concurrently involving research associates, public, university and government enquiries/partners, volunteers and visitors.

Services (to other bodies): Reviewer Molecular Ecology, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Biological Reviews

Exhibitions and Public Programs

Lisa is currently working with team across WA on an exhibit about aspects of the pearling industry entitled ‘Lustre’. She recently participated in Seaweek with very wet and wonderfully muddy field trip in WAM-Albany involving Junior Naturalists. 

Selected Publications

Robinson, N., Winberg, P. and L. Kirkendale. 2013. Genetic improvement of macroalgae: status to date and needs for the future. Journal of Applied Phycology. (published online, in press for print version).

Kirkendale, L., Saunders, GWS and Winberg, P. 2013. A molecular survey of Ulva (Chlorophyta) in temperate Australia reveals enhanced levels of cosmopolitanism. Journal of Phycology 49:69-81.

Winberg, P., A. Rubio and L. Kirkendale. 2012. Chapter 3: Climate Change and Marine Living Resources. In Climate Change and the Oceans: Gauging the Legal and Policy Currents in the Asia Pacific Region Ed Robin Warner, Clive Schofield. 274 pp.

Joseph G. Carter, Cristian R. Altaba, Laurie C. Anderson, Rafael Araujo, Alexander S. Biakov, Arthur E. Bogan, David C. Campbell, Matthew Campbell, Chen Jin-hua, John C. W. Cope, Graciela Delvene, Henk H. Dijkstra, Fang Zong-jie, Vera A. Gavrilova, Irina Goncharova, Alexander V. Guzhov, Peter J. Harries, Joseph H. Hartman, M. Hautmann, Walter R. Hoeh, Jorgen Hylleberg, Jiang Bao-yu, Paul Johnston, Lisa Kirkendale, Karl Kleemann, Jens Koppka, Jiří Kříž, Deusana Machado, Nikolaus Malchus, Oleg Mandic, Ana Márquez-Aliaga, Jean-Pierre Masse, Peter U. Middelfart, Simon Mitchell, Lidiya A. Nevesskaja, Sacit Özer, John Pojeta, Jr., Inga V. Polubotko, Jose Maria Pons, Sergey Popov, Teresa Sánchez, André F. Sartori, Robert W. Scott, Irina I. Sey, Sha Jin-geng, Javier H. Signorelli, Vladimir

V. Silantiev, Peter W. Skelton, Thomas Steuber, J. Bruce Waterhouse, G. Lynn Wingard, and Thomas Yancey. 2011. Synoptical Classification of the Bivalvia (Mollusca). University of Kansas, Paleontological Institute, Paleontological Contributions, no. 4, p. 1-47.

Kirkendale, L. 2009. ‘Their Day in the Sun’: Molecular phylogenetics and origin of photosymbiosis in the ‘other’ group of photosymbiotic marine bivalves (Cardiidae: Fraginae). Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 97: 448-465.