Jessica Fenker

Atlas of Living Australia
Associated Researcher
Australian National University

Canberra, ACT

Contact me for

  • Mentoring
  • Sitting on boards or committees
  • Providing an expert opinion
  • Outreach activities
  • Conference presenting
  • Opportunities to collaborate


I am a Research Fellow at Museums Victoria, working on Jane Melville's lab on how Quaternary changes affected past and recent reptile communities, using rich fossil data. I am also currently associated with the Australian National University (ANU), collaborating with the Moritz and Cardillo labs.

Previously, I worked as a data analyst, part of the  Science & Decision Support team at the Atlas of Living Australia (CSIRO), a collaborative, digital, open infrastructure that pulls together Australian biodiversity data from multiple sources, making it accessible and reusable. I work in partnership with EcoCommons, a platform for digital modelling and analysis needs on ecological and environmental research. I also  collaborated with the Australian National Wildlife Collection (ANWC - CSIRO), as a Relocation Technician.

I completed a postdoctoral position at the University of Michigan, at Lacey Knowles’ lab, interested in the species delimitation process, linking micro and macro evolution. I did my Ph.D. at ANU, at Craig Moritz’s lab. My dissertation concerned macroecological questions and landscape genomics related to lizards in savannas environments, mostly in Australia and Brazil. In my Master’s (University of Brasilia, Brazil), I worked with phylogenetic diversity and habitat loss in Neotropical pitvipers. I also assisted in the preparation of the redlist of lizards and amphisbaenians of Brazil.

I am a proud member of two Brazilian women in STEM initiatives, H2H (Herpetologia segundo herpetólogas) and Rede Kunhã Asé, aiming to promote equity and value the role of Women in Science.

Any questions? Do you want to chat? Feel free to contact me by email ( and follow my updates on twitter (@jehzim).

Jessica identifies as culturally and linguistically diverse.