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
  • Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future – An Evidence-Based, Informatics Approach. (ARC SRI)
  • 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 (opened Nov 2020)


Selected Publications

Nerida’s full publication list can be found here



Schächinger, PM, Schrödl, M, Wilson, NG & Moles, J (online 2022) Crossing the Polar front – Antarctic species discovery in the nudibranch genus Tritoniella (Gastropoda). Organisms, Diversity & Evolution

Post, A, Przeslawski, Nanson, R, Siwabessy, J, Smith, D, Kirkendale, L and Wilson, NG (2022). Modern dynamics, morphology and habitats of slope-confined canyons on the northwest Australian margin. Marine Geology 443: 106694.

Lau, SCY, Strugnell, JM, Sands, CJ, Silva, CNS, Wilson, NG (2021). Evolutionary innovations in Antarctic brittle stars linked to glacial island refugia. Ecology & Evolution 11: 17428-17446.

Evans, RD, Thomas, L, Kennington, WJ, Ryan, NM, Wilson NG, Richards Z, Lowe R, Tuckett, C (2021). Population genomics of a broadcast-spawning coral (Dendrophylliidae; Turbinaria reniformis) across a tropical-temperate transition zone in Western Australia. Journal of Biogeography 48(12): 3185-3195.

Paz-Sedano, S, Wilson, NG, Carmona, L, Gosliner, TM and Pola, M. (2021). An ocean yet to be discovered: increasing systematic knowledge of Indo-Pacific Okenia Menke, 1830 (Nudibranchia: Goniodorididae). Invertebrate Systematics 35: 797-825.

Abdul Wahab, MA, Wilson, NG, Prada, D, Gomez, O and Fromont, J. (2021) A molecular phylogenetic revision of common tropical species of Phyllospongiinae Keller, 1889, with the descriptions of two new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 193(1): 319-335.

Moles, J, Berning, MI, Hooker, Y, Padula, Wilson, NG, Schrödl, M (2021). Due South: the evolutionary history of Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic Tritoniidae nudibranchs. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 162: 107209.

Hosie, A, Fromont, J, Munyard, K, Wilson, NG, and Jones, DS (2021) Surveying keratose sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae, Dictyoceratida) reveals hidden diversity of host specialist barnacles (Crustacea, Cirripedia, Archaeobalanidae). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 161: 107179.

Morrison, H, Kirkendale, LM & Wilson, NG. (2021). A review of extant Tudivasum (Gastropoda: Turbinellidae) and the description of three new species from Western Australia. Journal of Molluscan Studies 87(1): eyaa030.

Moles, J, Derkarabetian, S, Schiaperelli, S, Schrödl, M, Troncoso, J, Wilson, NG, Giribet, G. (2021). An approach using ddRADseq and machine learning for understanding geographic and bathymetric patterns of speciation in Antarctic gastropods (Mollusca). Scientific Reports 11: 8473.

Nimbs, MJ & Wilson, NG (2020). Description of a new species of Bursatella Blainville, 1817 (Gastropoda, Aplysiida, Aplysiidae) from southern Australia. Marine Research 40(4): 369-378.

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 11(10): 184 [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(2): 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 delicatissimaJournal 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.


Selected publications (pre-2017)

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

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

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.

Smith, S, Wilson, NG, Goetz, F, Feehery, C, Andrade, S, Rouse, GW, Giribet, G & Dunn, C. (2011). Resolving the evolutionary relationships of molluscs with phylogenomic tools. Nature 480: 364-367.

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

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 .