Mia Hillyer

Technical Officer

Molecular Systematics Unit



(08) 9212 3870 mia.hillyer@museum.wa.gov.au


  • Phylogenetics, phylogegraphy and population genetics
  • Exploring the evolutionary history of species
  • Delimiting species using molecular data


  • Develops and maintains collections of DNA and molecular data from fauna in the collection.


  • Net Conservation Benefits Project:
  • Conservation Systematics of the Western Pilbara Fauna
  • Investigating biodiversity of terrestrial taxa in the western Pilbara using molecular markers.

Exhibitions and Public Programs

  • Provides technical support to research/ senior research scientists.
  • Provides technical support and instruction to postgraduate students.
  • Assists in the ongoing running and maintainence of the MSU laboratory.

Selected Publications

Harvey, M. S., Huey, J. A., Hillyer, M. J., McIntyre, E. Giribet, G., (2016) The first troglobitic species of Gymnobisiidae (Pseudoscorpiones: Neobisioidea), from Table Mountain (Western Cape Province, South Africa) and its phylogenetic position. Invertebrate Systematics 30: 75-85.

Harvey, M. S., Lopes, P. C., Goldsmith, G. R., Halajian, A., Hillyer, M. J., Huey, J. A., (2015) A novel and symbolic relationship between sociable weaver birds (Philetairus socius) and a new cheliferid pseudoscorpion (Pseudoscorpiones: Cheliferidae) in southern Africa. Invertebrate Systematics 29: 444-456.

Staes, N., Stevens, J. M., Helsen, P., Hillyer, M., Korody, M., Eens, M. (2014) Oxytocin and Vasopressin Receptor Gene Variation as a Proximate Base for Inter- and Intraspecific Behavioral Differences in Bonobos and Chimpanzees. PLOS|ONE 9(11): e113364

Alacs, E.A.,  Hillyer, M.J.,  Georges, A.,  Fitzsimmons, N.N., Hughes, J.M. (2009) Development of microsatellite markers in the Australasian snake-necked turtle Chelodina rugusa and cross-species amplification. Molecular Ecology Resources 9(1) 350-353. DOI 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2008.02389.x

Page, T.J., Short, J.W., Humphrey, C.L., Hillyer, M.J., Hughes, J.M. (2008) Molecular systematics of the Kakaducarididae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46(3):1003-1014

Hillyer, M.J.,  Boulter, S.L.,  Kitching, R.L.,  Hughes, J.M. (2007) Isolation and characterization of eight polymorphic microsatellite loci in the rainforest canopy tree, Syzygium sayeri (Myrtaceae). Molecular Ecology Resources 7(6) 1199-1201. DOI 10.1111/j.1471-8286.2007.01828.x

Hillyer, M.J., Woods, R.J., Hughes, J.M. (2006) Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci in the Australian smelt, Retropinna semoni. Molecular Ecology Notes 6, 224-226.

Hughes, J.M., Hillyer, M.J. (2006) Mitochondrial DNA and allozymes reveal high dispersal abilities and historical movement across drainage boundaries in two species of freshwater fishes from inland rivers in Queensland, Australia. Journal of Fish Biology 68, 270-291.

Cook, B.D., Ma, J., Hillyer, M.J., Song, S.D., Hughes, J.M. (2006) Polymorphic microsatellite markers in an Australian freshwater fish, southern pygmy perch Nannoperca australis. Molecular Ecology Notes 6, 907-908

Peckarsky, B.L., Hughes, J.M., Mather, P.B., Hillyer, M.J., Encalada, A.C. (2005) Are populations of mayflies living in adjacent fish and fishless streams genetically differentiated? Freshwater Biology 50, 42-51.

Hughes, J.M., Hillyer, M., Bunn, S.E. (2003) Small-scale patterns of genetic variation in the mayfly Bungona narilla (Ephemeroptera : Baetidae) in rainforest streams, south-east Queensland. Freshwater Biology 48, 709-717.

Hughes, J.M., Hillyer, M.J. (2003) Patterns of connectivity among populations of Cherax destructor (Decapoda : Parastacidae) in western Queensland, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 54, 587-596.

Hughes, J.M., Mather, P.B., Hillyer, M.J., Cleary, C., Peckarsky, B. (2003) Genetic structure in a montane mayfly Baetis bicaudatus (Ephemeroptera : Baetidae), from the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. Freshwater Biology 48, 2149-2162