Kirstin Proft



My PhD research is investigating the landscape genetics of Tasmanian mammals vulnerable to foxes and land-use change, with a focus on Tasmanian bettongs (Bettongia gaimardi) and spotted-tailed quolls (Dasyurus maculatus). I am investigating genetic diversity and connectivity in these species at a range of temporal and spatial scales, from the population genetics and phylogeography of these species across Tasmania, to more intensive studies of gene flow within areas of agricultural intensification, including the Tasmanian midlands region. I am using a range of molecular markers, including microsatellites, mitochondrial DNA sequences and single nucleotide polymorphisms.

My work in the Tasmanian midlands will help to identify key connectivity linkages and potential barriers to gene flow. This will feed into a larger project in collaboration with Greening Australia and other partners that aims to provide an animal-centred framework for connectivity and restoration planning across the region.

My previous research has been in the field of plant systematics, using molecular techniques to complement traditional taxonomic approaches and unravel species complexes.


  • PhD candidate in Zoology at the University of Tasmania, Australia (2014-present)
  • Honours in Plant Systematics (First Class and University Medal) at the University of Sydney (2010)
  • BSc Advanced (Biology and Plant Science) at the University of Sydney (2009)


Proft KM, Jones ME, Johnson CN, Burridge CP (2018) Making the connection: expanding the role of restoration genetics in restoring and evaluating connectivity. Restoration Ecology, early view

Conn BJ, Henwood MJ, Proft KM, Wilson TC (2016) Molecular phylogenetics reveals a new species of Prostanthera from tropical Queensland with links to more southerly taxa. Telopea, 19, 13–22

Conn BJ, Wilson TC, Proft KM, Henwood MJ (2013) Circumscription and phylogenetic relationships of Prostanthera densa and P. marifolia (Lamiaceae). Telopea, 15, 149-164

Nanork P, Low PA, Proft KM, Lim J, Deowanish S, Wongsiri S, Oldroyd BP (2010) Actual reproductive conflict during emergency queen rearing in Apis florea. Apidologie, 42, 206-210


  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) short-term research scholarship (2017)
  • Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment Grant (2015-2017)
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (2014)
  • Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) National Taxonomy Research Grant program, honours scholarship (2010)


Speed talk at the Australian Mammal Society (AMS) conference in Hobart, Tasmania (2015). Awarded prize for best student speed talk.

Poster presentation at the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) conference in Alice Springs, Australia (2014). Awarded ESA-Wiley Prize for outstanding poster presentation (2nd place)