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 including the deep sea up to the tops of mountains. The group has a long evolutionary history and impressive fossil record that makes them excellent system for addressing a diversity of big questions about biogeography and adaptation/change through time. Current projects on the go at the WAM involve improving taxonomic understanding of Western Australian oyster genetic resources, developing a molecular phylogenetic framework to advance Bothriembryon land snail taxonomy and continuing work with international and other collaborators on photosymbiotic cardiids, including giant clams. This past year Lisa ventured (remotely) into the deep-sea onboard the RV Falkor using ROV SuBastian to explore Cape Range and Cloates Canyons as part of #NingalooCanyons expedition with an amazing team from WAM. The engagement aspect of the program was so successful that it resulted in our team winning the Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year Award at the Premier’s Science Awards 2020!


Exhibitions and Public Programs

Lisa is currently working on the new museum Boola Bardip. She regularly participates in Science week, speaks at Naturalists meetings and provides guest lectures at local universities.


Selected Publications

Lisa’s full publication list can be found here


Li, J., Lemer, S., Kirkendale, L., Bieler, R., Cavanaugh, C. & Giribet, G. (2020). Shedding light: a phylotranscriptomic perspective illuminates the origin of photosymbiosis in marine bivalves. BMC Evolutionary Biology 20: 50: 1-15.

Middelfart, P.U., Kirkendale, L.A. & Bryce. C. (2020). Smaller molluscs from a multi-taxon survey (2012–2014) of the shallow marine environments of the tropical Kimberley region, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 85: 117-183. DOI 10.18195/issn.0313-122x.85.2020.117-183.

M.W. Klunzinger, M. Lopes-Lima, A. Gomes-dos-Santos, E. Froufe, A.J. Lymbery & L. Kirkendale. 2020. Phylogeographic study of the West Australian freshwater mussel, Westralunio carteri, uncovers evolutionarily significant units that raise new conservation concerns. Hydrobiologia

D. J. Colgan, R. C. Willan & L. A. Kirkendale. (2020). A genetic assessment of the taxonomic status of New Zealand mussels of the genus Xenostrobus Wilson, 1967. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 54 (2): 271-285. DOI:10.1080/00288330.2020.1713180.

Richards, Z.T., Garcia, R., Moore, G., Jane Fromont, Lisa Kirkendale, Monika Bryce, Clay Bryce, Ana Hara, Jenelle Ritchie, Oliver Gomez, Corey Whisson, Mark Allen, Nerida G. Wilson. (2019). A tropical Australian refuge for photosymbiotic benthic fauna. Coral Reefs 38: 669–676.

Kirkendale, L., Hosie, A. & Richards, Z.T. (2019). Defining biodiversity gaps for North West Shelf marine invertebrates. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 102: 1-9.

Li, J., Volsteadt, M., Kirkendale, L. & C. Cavanaugh. (2018). Characterizing photosymbiosis between Fraginae bivalves and Symbiodinium using phylogenetics and stable isotopes. Frontier in Ecology and Evolution 6 (45):1-11. https://doi: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00045.

Whisson, C.S., Kirkendale, L. & Breure, B. (2018). Case 3748 — Bothriembryon Pilsbry, 1894 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Bothriembryontidae): Proposed conservation of the name by designation of Helix melo Quoy & Gaimard, 1832 as the type species of Liparus Albers, 1850. The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 75 (1):44-48.

Poorten, J.J. ter, Kirkendale, L.A. & Poutiers, J.-M. (2017). The Cardiidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) of tropical northern Australia: A synthesis of taxonomy, biodiversity and biogeography with the description of four new species. Records of the Western Australia Museum 32 (2): 101-190.

Kirkendale, L. and G. Paulay. (2017). Photosymbiosis in Bivalvia. Treatise Online no. 89: Part N, Revised, Volume 1, Chapter 9.

Dias, P.J. et al. incl. L. Kirkendale. (2017). Establishment of a taxonomic and molecular reference collection to support the identification of species regulated by the Western Australian Prevention List for Introduced Marine Pests. Management of Biological Invasions. 8 (2): 215-225.

Wilson, N.G. and L. A. Kirkendale. (2016). Putting the ‘Indo’ back into the Indo-Pacific: resolving marine phylogeographic gaps. Invertebrate Systematics 30(1): 86-94.

Middelfart, P.U., Kirkendale, L.A. and N.G. Wilson. (2016). Australian Tropical Marine Micromolluscs: An Overwhelming Bias. Diversity 8 (3): 17.

Richards, Z., Kirkendale, L., Moore, G., Hosie, A., Huisman, J., Bryce, M., Marsh, L., Bryce, C., Hara, A., Wilson, N., Morrison, S., Gomez, O., Ritchie, J., Whisson, C., Allen, M., Betterridge, L., Wood, C., Morrison, H., Salotti, M., Hansen, G., Slack-Smith, S. and Fromont, J. (2016). Marine biodiversity in temperate Western Australia: multi-taxon surveys of Minden and Roe Reefs. Diversity. 8 (2): 7.

Selected publications (pre-2016)

Winberg, P., Rubio, A. and Kirkendale, L. (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. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK.

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 4:1-47.

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.

Kirkendale, L. and C.P. Meyer. (2004). Molecular phylogenetics of the Patelloida profunda group: Diversification in a dispersal-driven marine system. Molecular Ecology 13: 2749-2762.

Lisa Kirkendale, Taehwan Lee, P. Baker and D.Ó. Foighil. (2004). Oysters of the Conch Republic (Florida Keys): A molecular phylogenetic study of Parahyotissa mcgintyi, Teskeyostrea weberi and Ostreola equestris. Malacologia 46: 309-326.