evolutionary biology flora conservation gene flow marine connectivity phylogeography population genetics

Email Rachel

+61 8 9219 9076

+61 8 9334 0327
Street Address
17 Dick Perry Avenue, Technology Park, Western Precinct, Kensington WA 6151, Australia
Postal Address
Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983, Australia


Rachel is a research scientist in flora conservation for the Science Division, with a broad background in population genetics and evolutionary biology. Her research involves understanding patterns of genetic diversity, gene flow and divergence in a range of Western Australian native flora, with aims to clarify taxonomic boundaries, assess conservation status, perform impact assessments or inform appropriate management actions for conservation or habitat rehabilitation at the appropriate spatial scales. 


- population genetics, phylogeography and phylogenetics 

- bioinformatic processing of genomic data

- molecular laboratory techniques

- morphometric analyses of intraspecific morphological variation

- experienced with both plant and animal species, and in marine or terrestrial systems


Brief CV


Academic Qualifications

2011  Doctor of Philosophy, University of Western Australia: The evolutionary significance of morphological variation in the Australian sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma

2005  Bachelor of Science, 1st Class Honours, University of Western Australia:

           Individual thesis: Exploring the consequences of translocation - long term effects upon genetic structure within a 12 year old population of  the marine gastropod Bembicium vittatum

           Group thesis: "The effect of introduced buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliarus L.) on terrestrial invertebrate communities in the Pilbara region,       Western Australia"

2004  Bachelor of Science, University of Western Australia: Majoring in Marine Biology and Zoology


Positions Held

2012 - Current  Research Scientist, Dept of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

2007 - 2012  Guest lecturer, lab tutor and field demonstrator for various undergraduate units, University of Western Australia

2006  Graduate Research Assistant, Murdoch University


Assessment of genetic diversity, population structure and clonality for Lepidosperma sp. Mt Caudan and Lepidosperma sp. Parker Range

Investigation of genetic entities and hybridisation within the Acacia microbotrya species complex

Development of seed provenancing strategies for mine rehabilitation using several common Pilbara species

Assessment of genomic variation in the widespread and highly variable Calothamnus quadrifidus species complex

Using genomic variation to define cryptic lineages within Eucalyptus salubris

Investigating patterns and drivers of connectivity in Avicennia marina along the Western Australian coastline





Publications (27)

Departmental Publications (20)

Found 20 items


Binks RM, Steane DA, Byrne M (2021). Genomic divergence in sympatry indicates strong reproductive barriers and cryptic species within Eucalyptus salubris. Ecology and Evolution 11, pp. 5096–5110

Bradbury D, Binks RM, Byrne M (2021). Genomic data inform conservation of rare tree species: clonality, diversity and hybridity in Eucalyptus series in a global biodiversity hotspot. Biodiversity and Conservation 30, pp. 619–641

Robins TP, Binks RM, Byrne M, Hopper SD (2021). Contrasting patterns of population divergence on young and old landscapes in Banksia seminuda (Proteaceae), with evidence for recognition of subspecies. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 133, pp. 449–463

Robins TP., Binks RM, Byrne M, Hopper SD (2021). Landscape and taxon age are associated with differing patterns of hybridization in two Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) subgenera. Annals of Botany 127, pp. 49–62


Binks RM, Wilkins CF, Markey AS, Lyons MN, Byrne M (2020). Genomic data and morphological re-assessment reveals synonymy and hybridisation among Seringia taxa (Lasiopetaleae, Malvaceae) in remote north-western Australia. Taxon 69, pp. 307–320

Nistelberger HM, Binks RM, van Leeuwen S, Coates DJ, McArthur SL, Macdonald BM et al. [Hankinson M, Byrne M] (2020). Extensive genetic connectivity and historical persistence are features of two widespread tree species in the ancient Pilbara region of Western Australia. Genes 11,


Binks R, Byrne M, van Leeuwen S (2019). Genetic assessment of Aluta quadrata across the Western Range. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Kensington, WA. 20 p.

Binks R, Gibson N, Ottewell K, Macdonald B, Byrne M (2019). Predicting contemporary range-wide genomic variation using climatic, phylogeographic and morphological knowledge in an ancient, unglaciated landscape. Journal of Biogeography 46, pp. 503–514

Binks RM, Byrne M, McMahon K, Pitt G, Murray K, Evans RD (2019). Habitat discontinuities form strong barriers to gene flow among mangrove populations, despite the capacity for long-distance dispersal. Diversity and Distributions 25, pp. 298–309

Bradbury D, Binks RM, Coates DJ, Byrne M (2019). Conservation genomics of range disjunction in a global biodiversity hotspot: a case study of Banksia biterax (Proteaceae) in southwestern Australia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 127, pp. 390–406

Byrne M, Krauss SL, Millar MA, Elliott CP, Coates DJ, Yates C et al. [Binks RM, Nistelberger H, Butcher R, Barrett M, Gibson N] (2019). Persistence and stochasticity are key determinants of genetic diversity in plants associated with banded iron formation inselbergs. Biological Reviews 94, pp. 753–772


Byrne M, Binks R, Wilkins C, Bradbury D, Markey A (2018). Conservation genomics for taxon delimitation and management of rare and threatened plants (ABSTRACT). In Mind the Gap: Australasian Systematic Botany Society 2018 Conference, Brisbane Botanic Gardens p. 73

Evans RD, Berry O, Binks R, Byrne M, DiBattista JD, van Dijk K-J et al. [Murray K, Pitt G, Ryan N] (2018). Dispersal patterns for taxa with differing reproductive characteristics along the Western Australia coastline (ABSTRACT). In Australian Marine Sciences Association, 55th Annual Conference, Adelaide, 1-5 July 2018: Program Book & Abstracts p. 115


Binks R, Byrne M, Evans R (2016). Mangrove connectivity in northwestern WA: potential for recovery and resilience under changing environments (POSTER ABSTRACT). In ESA16 book of abstracts: Ecological Society of Australia, annual conference: Diversity: pattern, process and prospects, 28 November to 2 December 2016, Fremantle, Western Australia p. 118


Binks RM, Millar MA, Byrne M (2015). Contrasting patterns of clonality and fine-scale genetic structure in two rare sedges with differing geographic distributions. Heredity 115, pp. 235–242

Binks RM, Millar MA, Byrne M (2015). Not all rare species are the same: contrasting patterns of genetic diversity and population structure in two narrow-range endemic sedges. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 114, pp. 873–886

Binks RM, O’Brien M, MacDonald B, Maslin B, Byrne M (2015). Genetic entities and hybridisation within the Acacia microbotrya species complex in Western Australia. Tree Genetics and Genomes 11, pp. 1–13


Binks RM, Gardner MG, Millar MA, Byrne M (2014). Characterization and cross-amplification of novel microsatellite markers for two Australian sedges, Lepidosperma sp. Mt Caudan and L. sp. Parker Range (Cyperaceae). Conservation Genetics Resources 6, pp. 333–336


Binks R, Millar M, Byrne M (2013). Progress report for assessment of genetic processes in Lepidosperma sp. Parker Range and Lepidosperma sp. Mt Caudan: report submitted to Botanica Consulting and Cazaly Iron Ore Pty Ltd. Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA. 11 p.


Binks R, Millar M, Byrne M (2012). Progress report for assessment of genetic processes in Lepidosperma sp. Parker Range and Lepidosperma sp. Mt Caudan: report submitted to Botanica Consulting and Cazaly Iron Ore Pty Ltd. Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA. 9 p.

Additional Publications (7)
“In press” and draft publications, or those published while employed elsewhere.


Binks RM, Gardner MG, Millar MA, and Byrne, M (2013) Characterization and cross-amplification of novel microsatellite markers for two Australian sedges, Lepidosperma sp. Mt Caudan and Lepidosperma sp. Parker Range (Cyperaceae). Conservation Genetics Resources DOI:10.1007/s12686-013-0087-2


Binks RM, Prince J, Evans JP, and Kennington WJ (2012) More than bindin divergence: reproductive isolation between sympatric subspecies of a sea urchin by asynchronous spawning. Evolution 66 (11): 3545-3557.


Binks RM, Evans JP, Kennington WJ, and Prince J (2011) Spatial patterns of variation in color and spine shape in the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma. Invertebrate Biology 130 (2): 161-174.

Binks RM, Evans JP, Prince J, and Kennington WJ (2011) Fine-scale patterns of genetic divergence within and between morphologically variable subspecies of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma (Echinometridae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 103: 578-592.


Binks RM, Lukehurst SS, Garcia-Gonzalez F, and Evans JP (2009) Characterization of microsatellite loci for the Australian sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma. Molecular Ecology Resources 9 (4): 1259-1261.


Shaw JA, Macey DJ, Clode PL, Brooker LR, Webb RI, Stockdale EJ, and Binks RM (2008) Methods of sample preparation of radula epithelial tissue in chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora). American Malacological Bulletin 25: 35-41.


Binks RM, Kennington WJ, and Johnson, MS (2007) Rapid evolutionary responses in a translocated population of intertidal snail (Bembicium vittatum) utilise variation from different source populations. Conservation Genetics 8: 1421-1429.