Nerida Wilson

Molecular Systematics Unit Manager

Molecular Systematics Unit

BSc (Hons); PhD


+61 (8) 9212 3844


  • Exploring the evolutionary history of species
  • Phylogenetics, phylogeography and population genetics
  • Delimiting species using molecular data
  • Understanding the drivers of diversification


  • Net Conservation Benefits Project: Conservation Systematics of the Western Pilbara Fauna
  • ACE- Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition: Testing the diversity of marine refugia at sub-Antarctic islands
  • Dating West Antarctic Icesheet collapse using molecular sequence data
  • SeadragonSearch: a collaborative community-science project to monitor and conserve seadeagons
  • Diving deep in the #NingalooCanyons

Exhibitions and Public Programs

  • Developing Citizen Science initiatives
  • Contributes to the Molecular Systematics Unit blog.
  • Supervisor to post-graduate students at local and national universities
  • Provides identifications and advice for consultants, industry and government
  • Contributed to exhibitions in Boola Bardip (open Nov 2020)


Selected Publications

Nerida’s full publication list can be found here



Nimbs, MJ & Wilson, NG (online Nov 2020) Description of a new species of Bursatella Blainville, 1817 (Gastropoda, Aplysiida, Aplysiidae) from southern Australia. Marine Research.

Layton, KKS, Carvajal, JI and Wilson, NG. (2020). Mimicry and mitonuclear discordance in nudibranchs: new insights from exon capture phylogenomics. Ecology & Evolution 10:11966-11982. [cover]

Lau, SC, Wilson, NG, Silva, CNS, Strugnell, JM (2020). Glacial refugia in the Southern Ocean: current trends and future directions. Ecography 43: 1639-1656.

Knutson, VL, Brenzinger, B, Schrödl, M, Wilson, NG, and Giribet, G. (2020) Most Cephalaspidea have a shell, but transcriptomes can provide them with a backbone (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 153: 106943

Nimbs, MJ, Wilson, NG, Limmon, GV & Smith, SDA (2020). Redescription of the sea hare Phyllaplysia viridis (Bergh, 1905) (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia: Aplysiida). Malacologia 63(1): 11-20

Soong, GY, Wilson, NG and Reimer, JD (2020) Phylogenetic relationships of the red-reticulate Goniobranchus species (Nudibranchia: Dorididae: Chromodorididae). Marine Biodiversity 50:25

Richards, Z, Carvajal, J.I., Wallace, C, and Wilson, NG (2020). Phylotranscriptomics confirms Alveopora is sister to Montipora within the family Acroporidae. Marine Genomics 50:100703

Fromont, J, Richards, ZT and Wilson, NG (2019). First report of the coral-killing sponge Terpios hoshinota Rützler and Muzik, 1993 in Western Australia: a new threat to Kimberley coral reefs? Diversity 119184): 1-8. [cover]

Layton, KKS, Middelfart, PU, Tatarnic, NJ and Wilson, NG (2019). Erecting a new family for Spirostyliferina, a truncatelloidean microgastropod, with further insights into caenogastropod phylogeny. Zoologica Scripta 48(6): 727-744.

Layton, KKS, Rouse, GW and Wilson, NG (2019). A newly discovered radiation of endoparasitic gastropods and their coevolution with asteroid hosts in Antarctica. BMC Evolutionary Biology 19:180

Thomas, SAL, Sanchez, A, Kee, Y, Wilson, NG and Baker, BJ (2019) Bathyptilones: Terpenoids from an Antarctic sea pen, Anthoptilum grandiflorum (Verrill, 1879). Marine Drugs 17(9): 513.

Knestrick, MA, Wilson, NG and Baker, BJ (2019). Friomaramide, a highly modified linear Hexapeptide from an Antarctic sponge, inhibits Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage development Journal of Natural Products 82(8): 2354-2358.

Richards Z, Kirkendale L, Moore G, Hosie A, Huisman J, Bryce M, Marsh L, Bryce C, Hara A, Wilson NG, Morrison S, Gomez O, Ritchie J, Whisson C, Allen M, Betteridge L, Wood C, Morrison H, Salotti M, Hansen G, Slack-Smith S, Fromont J (2016). Marine biodiversity in temperate Western Australia: multi-taxon surveys of Minden and Roe Reefs. Diversity 8: 7

Bryce, M & Wilson, NG. (2019). A new genus with two new capitate species of dimorphic soft corals (Octocorallia: Alcyoniidae) from north-western Australia. Invertebrate Systematics 33: 71-88

Valdes, AA, Lundsten, L, Wilson, NG (2018). Five new deep-sea species of nudibranchs (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia: Cladobranchia) from the Northeast Pacific. Zootaxa 4526(4): 401-433

Richards, Z, Yasuda, N, Kikuchi, T, Foster, T, Mitsuyuki, C, Stat, M, Suyama, Y, and Wilson, NG (2018) Integrated evidence reveals a new species in the ancient blue coral genus Heliopora (Octocorallia). Scientific Reports 8: 15875

Moore, JM, Carvajal, JI, Rouse, GW, Wilson, NG (2018) The Antarctic Circumpolar Current isolates and connects: phylogeographic evidence for circumpolarity in the Antarctic sea star Glabraster antarctica. Ecology & Evolution 8(1): 10621-10633

Carmona, L and Wilson, NG (2018). Two new species of the tropical facelinid nudibranch Moridilla Bergh, 1888 (Heterobranchia: Aeolidida) from Australasia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 33: 95-102

Winters, AE, Wilson, NG, How, M, Endler, J, Marshall, J, Garson, MJ and Cheney, K. (2018). Toxicity and taste: unequal chemical defences in a mimicry ring. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285: 20180457

Berriman, J, Ellingson, RA, Awbrey, JD, Rico, D, Valdés, AA, Wilson, NG, Aguilar, A, Herbert, DG and Krug, PJ (2018). A biting commentary on species delimitation: Integrating tooth characters with molecular data doubles recognized diversity in a lineage of sea slugs that consume “killer algae”. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 126: 356-370

Winters, AE, White, AM, Dewi, AS, Mudianta, IW, Wilson, NG, Forster, LC, Garson, MJ and Cheney, K. (2018). Distribution of defensive metabolites in nudibranch molluscs. Journal of Chemical Ecology 44(4): 384-396 [cover]

Layton, KKS, Gosliner, TM, Wilson, NG. (2018). Flexible colour patterns obscure identification and mimicry in Indo-Pacific Chromodoris nudibranchs (Gastropoda: Chromodorididae). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 124: 27-36.

Anton, R., Schories, D, Wilson, NG, Wolf, M, Abad, M & Schrödl, M. (2018). Host specificity versus plasticity: testing the morphology-based taxonomy of the endoparasitic copepod family Splanchnotrophidae with COI barcoding. Journal of the Marine Biological Association, UK 92(2): 1-13

Santana, T, von Salm, J, Clark, S, Ferlita, S, Nemani, P, Azhari, Rice, C, Wilson, NG, Kyle, D, and Baker, BJ. (2018) Keikipukalides, furanocembrane diterpenes from the Antarctic deep sea octocoral Plumarella delicatissima. Journal of Natural Products 81(1): 117-123

Strugnell, J, Pedro, J, Wilson, NG (2018). Dating Antarctic ice sheet collapse: proposing a molecular genetic approach. Quaternary Science Reviews 179:153-157

Gutt J, Isla E, Bertler N, Bodeker GE, Bracegirdle TJ, Cavanagh RD5, Comiso JC, Convey P, Cummings V, De Conto R, DeMaster D, di Prisco G, d'Ovidio F, Griffiths HJ, Khan AL, López-Martínez J, Murray AE, Nielsen UN, Ott S, Post A, Ropert-Coudert Y, Saucède T, Scherer R, Schiaparelli S, Schloss IR, Smith CR, Stefels J, Stevens C, Strugnell JM, Trimborn S, Verde C, Verleyen E, Wall DH, Wilson NG, Xavier JC (2018). Cross-disciplinarity in the advance of Antarctic ecosystem research. Marine Genomics 37: 1-17

Winters, AE, Green, N, Wilson, NG, How, M, Garson, MJ, Marshall, J, and Cheney, K. (2017). Stabilising selection on individual pattern elements may allow phenotypic variation of aposematic signals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 284: 20170926

Linchangco, Jr., GV, Foltz, DW, Reid, R, Williams, J, Nodzak, C, Kerr, AM, Miller, AK, Hunter, R, Wilson, NG, Nielsen, WJ, Mah, CL, Rouse, GW, Wray, GA, and Janies, DA. (2017). The phylogeny of extant starfish including Xyloplax (Asteroidea: Echinodermata) based on comparative transcriptomics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 115: 161-170

Wilson, NG, Jörger KM, Brenzinger, B and Schrödl, M (2017). Phylogenetic placement of the enigmatic worm-like Rhodopemorpha slugs as basal Heterobranchia. Journal of Molluscan Studies 83(4): 399-408

Miller, AK, Kerr, AM, Paulay, G, Reich, M, Wilson NG, Carvajal, JI, Rouse, GW (2017). Molecular phylogeny of extant Holothuroidea (Echinodermata). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 111: 110-131

Rouse, GW, Stiller, J, Wilson, NG (2017). First live records of the ruby seadragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea, Syngnathidae). Marine Biodiversity Records 10: 2

Stiller, J, Wilson, NG, Donellan, S, Rouse, GW (2017). The leafy seadragon, Phycodurus eques, a flagship species with low but structured genetic variability. Journal of Heredity 108(2): 152-162

Wilson NG, Stiller J & Rouse GW (2017). Barriers to gene flow in common seadragons (Syngnathidae: Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). Conservation Genetics 18: 53-66

Stöger, I, Kocot, KM, Poustka, AJ, Wilson, NG, Ivanov, D, Halanych, KM, Schrödl, M (2016). Monoplacophoran mitochondrial genomes: convergent gene arrangements and little phylogenetic signal. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16: 274

Kano, Y, Brenzinger, B, Nuetzel, A, Wilson, NG & Schrödl, M (2016). Ringiculid bubble snails recovered

as the sister group to sea slugs (Nudipleura). Scientific Reports 6: 30908

Middelfart, P.U., Kirkendale, L.M. & Wilson, N.G. (2016). Tropical marine micromolluscs: an overwhelming bias. Diversity 8: 17

Wilson, N.G., Winters, A.E. & Cheney, K.L. (2016). Tropical range extension for the temperate, endemic south-eastern Australian nudibranch Goniobranchus splendidus (Angas, 1864). Diversity 8: 16

Richards Z, Kirkendale L, Moore G, Hosie A, Huisman J, Bryce M, Marsh L, Bryce C, Hara A, Wilson NG, Morrison S, Gomez O, Ritchie J, Whisson C, Allen M, Betteridge L, Wood C, Morrison H, Salotti M, Hansen G, Slack-Smith S, Fromont J (2016). Marine biodiversity in temperate Western Australia: multi-taxon surveys of Minden and Roe Reefs. Diversity 8: 7

Wilson, NG & Kirkendale, LM (2016). Putting the “Indo” back into the Indo-Pacific: resolving marine phylogeographic gaps. Invertebrate Systematics 30: 86-94

Rouse, GW, Wilson, NG, Carvajal, JI & Vrijenhoek, RC (2016). New deep-sea species of Xenoturbella and the position of Xenacoelomorpha. Nature 530: 94-97


Selected publications (pre-2016)

Stiller, J, Wilson, NG & Rouse, GW (2015). A spectacular new species of seadragon (Syngnathidae). Royal Society Open Science 2(2), 140458

Zapata, F, Wilson, NG, Howison, M, Andrande, SCS, Jörger KM, Schrödl, M, Goetz, FE, Giribet, G, Dunn, CW (2014). Phylogenomic analyses of deep gastropod relationships reject Orthogastropoda. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 281: 20141739

Wilson, NG, Maschek, JA and Baker, BJ (2013). An adaptive radiation driven by predation? A unique marine invertebrate species flock in Antarctica. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80277

Wilson, NG, Rouse, GW & Giribet, G (2010). Assessing the molluscan hypothesis Serialia (Monoplacophora+ Polyplacophora) using novel molecular data. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 54: 187-193 clear

Wilson, NG, Belcher, RL, Lockhart, SJ and Halanych, KM (2007). Multiple lineages and an absence of panmixia in the ‘circumpolar’ crinoid Promachocrinus kerguelensis in the Atlantic sector of Antarctica. Marine Biology 152(4): 895-904