Mia Hillyer (2014-2020)

Technical Officer

Molecular Systematics Unit



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

Past Projects:

  • 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., Rix, M.G., Hillyer, M.J., Huey, J.A. (2020). The Systematics and phylogenetic position of the troglobiitic Australian spider genus Troglodiplura (Araneae: Mygalomorphae), with a new classification for Anamidae. Invertebrate Systematics 34: 799-822.

Abrams, K.M., Huey. J.A., Hillyer, M.J., Didham, R.K., Harvey, M.S. (2020). A systematic revision of Draculoides (Schizomida: Hubbardiidae) of the Pilbara, Western Australia, Part I: the Western Pilbara. Zootaxa 4864 (1): 001-075.

Castalanelli, M.A., Framenau, V.W., Huey, J.A., Hillyer, M.J., Harvey, M.S. (2020). New species of the open-holed trapdoor spider genus Aname (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Anamidae) from arid Western Australia. Journal of Arachnology 48: 169-213.

Harvey, M.S., Hillyer, M.J., Carvajal, J.I., Huey, J.A. (2020). Supralittoral pseudoscorpions of the genus Garypus (Pseudoscorpiones: Garypidae) from the Indo-West Pacific region, with a review of the subfamily classification of Garypidae. Invertebrate Systematics 34: 34-87.

Mathews, E.F., Abrams, K.M., Cooper, S.J.B., Huey, J.A., Hillyer, M.J., Humphreys, A.D., Guzik, M.T. (2020). Scratching the surface of biodiversity in subterranean fauna: new endemic species of Parabathynellidae (Crustacea: Bathynellacea) from the Pilbara, Western Australia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 142: 106643.

Abrams, K.M., Huey, J.A., Hillyer, M.J., Humphreys, W.F., Didham, R.K., Harvey, M.S. (2019). Too hot to handle: Tertiary aridification drives multiple independent incursions of Schizomida (Hubbardiidae) into hypogean environments. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 139: 106532.

Edgecombe, G.D., Huey, J.A., Humphreys, W.F., Hillyer, M., Burger, M.A., Volschenk, E.S., Waldock, J.M. (2019). Blind scolopendrid centipedes of the genus Cormocephalus from subterranean habitats in Western Australia (Myriapoda: Scolopendromorpha: Scolopendridae. Invertebrate Systematics 33: 807-824.

Huey, J.A., Rix, M.G., Wilson, J.D., Hillyer, M.J., Harvey, M.S. (2019). Open-holed trapdoor spiders of the genus Teyl (Mygalomorphae: Nemesiidae: Anamini) from Western Australia’s Pilbara bioregion: a new species and expanded phylogenetic assessment.  Zootaxa 4674 (3): 349–362.

Car, C.A., Harvey, M.S., Hillyer, M.J., Huey, J.A. (2019). The millipede genus Antichiropus (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae), part 3: species of the Pilbara bioregion of Western Australia. Zootaxa 4617 (1): 001–071.

Levy, E., Byrne, M., Huey, J.A., Hillyer, M.J., Firman, R.C., Ottewell, K.M. (2019). Limited influence of landscape on the genetic structure of three small mammals in a heterogeneous arid environment. Journal of Biogeography 46 (3): 539-551.

Spencer, P.B.S., Bain, K., Hayward, M.W., Hillyer, M., Friend, J.A.T. (2019). Persistence of remnant patches and genetic loss at the distribution periphery in island and mainland populations of the quokka. Australian Journal of Zoology 67: 38-50.

Huey, J.A., Hillyer, M.J., Harvey, M.S. (2019). Phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history of the Australian trapdoor spider genus Conothele (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Halonoproctidae): arid adaptation and lineage diversification in an otherwise tropical radiation. Invertebrate Systematics 33: 628-643.

Harvey, M. S., Hillyer, M.J., York Main, B., Moulds, T.A., Raven, R.J., Rix, M.G., Vink, C.J., Huey, J.A. (2018). Phylogenetic relationships of the Australasian openholed trapdoor spiders (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Nemesiidae: Anaminae): multi-locus molecular analyses resolve the generic classification of a highly diverse fauna. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 184: 407-452.

Frantz, L.A.F., Rudzinski, A., Nugraha, A.M.S., Evin, A., Burton, J., Hulme-Beaman, A., Linderholm, A., Barnett, R., Vega, R., Irving-Pease, E.K., Haile, J., Allen, R., Leus, K., Shephard, J., Hillyer, M., Gillemot, S., van den Hurk, J., Ogle, S., Atofanei, C., Thomas, M. G., Johansson, F., Mustari, A. H., Williams, J., Mohamad, K., Damayanti, C.S., Wiryadi, I.D., Obbles, D., Mona, S., Day, H., Yasin, M., Meker, S., McGuire, J.A., Evans, B.J., von Rintelen, T., Ho, S.Y.W., Searle, J.B., Kitchener, A.C., Macdonald, A.A., Shaw, D.J., Hall, R., Galbusera, P., Larson, G. (2018).  Synchronous diversification of Sulawesi's iconic artiodactyls driven by recent geological events. Proc. R. Soc. B 285(1876): 20172566.

Kealley, L., Doughty, P., Pepper, M., Keogh, J.S., Hillyer, M., Huey, J. (2018). Conspicuously concealed: revision of the arid clade of the Gehyra variegata (Gekkonidae) group in Western Australia using an integrative molecular and morphological approach, with the description of five cryptic species.  PeerJ 6: e5334.

Mijangos, J., Pacioni, C., Spencer, P., Hillyer, M., Craig, M. (2017). Characterizing the post-recolonization of Antechinus flavipes and its genetic implications in a production forest landscape. Restoration Ecology 25 (5): 738-748.

Castalanelli, M., Huey, J., Hillyer, M., Harvey, M. (2017). Molecular and morphological evidence for a new genus of small trapdoor spiders from arid Western Australia (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Nemesiidae: Anaminae). Invertebrate Systematics 31: 492-505.

Hohnen, R., Tuft, K.D., Legge, S., Hillyer, M., Spencer, P.B.S., Radford, I. J., Johnson, C.N., Burridge, C.P. (2016). Rainfall and topography predict gene flow among populations of the declining northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus).  Conservation Genetics 17: 1213-1228.

Harvey, M.,S., Abrams, K., Beavis, A., Hillyer, M.J., Huey, J.A., (2016). Pseudoscorpiones of the family Feaellidae (Pseudoscorpiones: Feaelloidea) from the Pilbara region of Western Australia show extreme short-range endemism. Invertebrate Systematic 30: 491-508.

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.


Selected publications (pre-2016)

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

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.

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