Mr Mark Adams

Senior Research Scientist Evolutionary Biology Unit

+61 8 8207 7305


Mark began his current job in May 1977 as a member of a small unit established by the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science (IMVS) to study the potential of the native fauna (e.g. hopping mice) to substitute for prohibited exotics (e.g. hamsters) as animal models in biomedical research. He joined the Museum in September 1983 when the Evolutionary Biology Unit was transferred to rationalise the ‘veterinary’ functions of the IMVS.


Positions at Other Organisations

  • Affiliate Senior Lecturer, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide
  • Honorary Researcher, Western Australian Museum


Research Interests

Broad research interests involving molecular systematics of the Australasian fauna. Working with colleagues, these interests are pursued through the application of a range of molecular genetic technologies, to taxonomic and evolutionary conundrums in a wide range of animal groups.

Together, these technologies allow the discovery of new species, determination of the population and breeding structure of individual species and reconstruction of evolutionary relationships among species.


Current Research Projects

Restoration genetics of five endangered fish species from the Murray-Darling Basin.  L. Beheregaray, P. Harris and M. Adams. 2010–2105, ARC Linkage Scheme grant, $405,000.

An assessment of cryptic biodiversity, species boundaries and ‘evolutionarily-significant units’ within widespread morpho-species among the Australian freshwater fishes.  M. Adams, P. Unmack and M. Hammer.  2002–ongoing, ABRS grant application pending; $270,000, and funded by consultancy work.

Molecular systematics of selected problem groups among the Australasian vertebrates.  M. Adams plus over 50 collaborators Australia-wide.  2002–ongoing, funded by consultancy work.

Molecular systematics of selected problem groups among the Australasian invertebrates.  M. Adams plus over 20 collaborators Australia-wide.  2002–ongoing, ARC Discovery grant $300,000, ARC Linkage grant $223,000, and funded by consultancy work.


Professional Associations  

  • Member, Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, hosted by the University of Adelaide



  • BSc (Hons), Flinders University (1976)


Current Teaching Responsibilities

Supervision of students  

  • Co-supervisor of one PhD student, University of Adelaide
  • Co-supervisor of one Honours student, Flinders University


Media Expertise

Biodiversity of Australia’s freshwater fishes; molecular genetic approaches to species discovery and biodiversity studies in the Australian fauna; unisexual/asexual reproduction in Australia’s vertebrates.


  1. Adams, M., Page, T. J., Hurwood, D. A., and Hughes. J. M. (2013). A molecular assessment of species boundaries and phylogenetic affinities in Mogurnda (Eleotridae): a case study of cryptic biodiversity in the Australian freshwater fishes. Marine and Freshwater Research (in press). 
  2. Bradford, T. M., Adams, M., Guzik, M. T., Humphreys, W. F., Austin, A. D., and Cooper, S. J. B. (2013).  Investigation of allopatric divergence in chiltoniid amphipods within the subterranean environment of an arid zone calcrete aquifer. Heredity (early view online).
  3. Morgan, D. L., Beatty, S. J., and Adams, M. (2013). A new species of pygmy perch from Western Australia, Nannoperca pygmaea sp. nov. Zootaxa 3637: 401–411.
  4. Hammer, M. P., Adams. M., and Hughes. J. M. (2013). ‘Evolutionary processes and biodiversity: genetics for fish ecologists’ in Walker, K., and, Humphreys. P. (eds) Ecology Of Australian Freshwater Fishes, pp. 49–79. Collinswood: CSIRO Publishing. 
  5. Murphy, N.P, Adams, M., Guzik, M.T., and Austin., A. D. (2013). Extraordinary micro-endemism in Australian desert spring amphipods. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66: 645–653. 
  6. Unmack, P. J., Hammer, M. P., Adams, M., Johnson, J. B., and Dowling, T.E. (2013). The role of continental shelf width in determining freshwater phylogeographic patterns in southeastern Australian pygmy perches (Teleostei: Percichthyidae). Molecular Ecology 22: 1683–1699. 
  7. Cook, B. D., Adams, M., Mather, P. B., and Hughes, J. M. (2012). Statistical phylogeographic tests of competing ‘Lake Carpentaria hypotheses’ in the mouth-brooding freshwater fish, Glossamia aprion (Apogonidae). Marine and Freshwater Research 63: 450–456. 
  8. Unmack, P. J., Bagley, J. C., Adams, M., Hammer, M. P., and Johnson, J. B. (2012). Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of the Australian freshwater fish genus Galaxiella, with an emphasis on dwarf galaxias (G. pusilla). PLoS ONE  7: 1–15 
  9. Guzik, M. T., Adams, M. A., Murphy, N. P., Cooper, S. J. B., and Austin, A. D. (2012). Desert springs: deep phylogeographic structure in an ancient endemic crustacean (Phreatomerus latipes). PLoS ONE 7: 1–13 
  10. Hammer, M. P., Adams, M., and Foster, R. (2012). Updates to the catalogue of South Australian freshwater fishes (Pisces: Petromyzontiformes & Actinopterygii). Zootaxa 3593: 59–74.


Full publication list for Mark Adams