Laura Simmons

Research Scientist (Conservation Genetics)  

Laura Simmons studies the genetic diversity and population structure of a range of rare or threatened species. Her research centres on population genetics and species delimitation to help inform taxonomy, conservation guidelines, ex situ conservation collections, and translocations. She is currently working with RBGV and interstate botanists to combine molecular and morphological studies to revise the taxonomy within several groups of plants. Laura has a background in community-based restoration ecology. She is passionate about translating scientific research and technical details to conservation advice that enables more informed approaches to maximise the success of on-ground programs. 


Refereed journal articles

Simmons, C.L., Wright, G.T., McDougall, K.L., James, E.A. 2023. Conservation and genomic diversity of a rare tree, Eucalyptus imlayensis (Myrtaceae), regenerating after wildfire. Muelleria 41: 17–28

Whitehead, M.R, Silcock, J.L., Simmons C.L., Monks, L., Dillon, R., Reiter, N. Jusaitis, M., Coates, D.J., Byrne, M., Vesk, P.A. 2023. Effects of common management practices on threatened plant translocations. Biological Conservation. 281, 110023

McDougall, K.L., Wright, G.T., Bredell, P.M., James, E.A., Simmons, L. 2023. Mount Imlay – an island of floristic significance on the brink. Cunninghamia 23: 001– 009

Roberts, R., Lamont, R.W., Simmons, C.L., Leiper G., Guymer, G. P. and Shapcott, A. 2021. Population genetics, demographics and implications for conservation of Brachychiton sp. Ormeau, a Critically Endangered rainforest tree. Australian Journal of Botany. 69(5) 259-273

Brown, G.K., James, E.A., Simmons, C.L., Ahrens, C.W. 2020. Recently Naturalized Paraserianthes lophantha subsp. lophantha Displays Contrasting Genetic Diversity and Climate Relationships Compared to Native Populations. Diversity. 12:422.

Shapcott A., James H., Simmons C.L., et al. 2020 Population modelling and genetics of a critically endangered Madagascan palm Tahina spectabilis. Ecology and Evolution. 00:1–18.

Silcock, JL., Simmons C.L.., Monks, L., Dillon, R., Reiter, N., Jusaitis, M., Vesk, PA., Byrne, M., Coates DJ. 2019. Threatened plant translocation in Australia: a review. Biological Conservation. 236:211-222

Simmons, C.L., Taylor, T., Zalucki, JM., Hoebee, SE., Fernando, DR., Holmes, GH., Shapcott, A. 2018. Microsatellite records for volume 10, issue 2. Characterization of microsatellite markers for the endangered rainforest tree, Gossia gonoclada (Myrtaceae). Electronic Supplementary Material 5, Conservation Genetics Resources 10:269–276

Simmons, C.L., Mathieson, M. & Shapcott, A. 2018. Genetic diversity of endangered orchid Phaius australis across a fragmented Australian landscape. Conservation Genetics 19:451

Simmons, C.L., Lamont, RA., Shapcott, A. 2017. Characterization of Microsatellite Primers in the Endangered Orchid Phaius australis and Cross-Amplification to P. bernaysii (Orchidaceae). Applications in Plant Sciences 5:12

Simmons, C.L., Auld, T.D., Hutton, I., Baker, WJ. & Shapcott, A., 2012. Will Climate Change, Genetic and Demographic Variation or Rat Predation Pose the Greatest Risk for Persistence of an Altitudinal Distributed Island Endemic? Biology. 1(3), 736-765