Dr Perry, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences and the Environment Institute, is passionate about conserving Australia’s wildlife using innovative methods to engage the public and launched the Australia-wide citizen science project, EchidnaCSI. The project relies on public input to submit echidna sightings and scat samples to better understand wild echidna populations for conservation purposes.
Dr Perry has developed molecular techniques to analyse the gut microbiome and diet of echidnas from scats submitted through EchidnaCSI, bringing together areas of genetics, microbiology, and bioinformatics with ecology, public engagement and conservation. EchidnaCSI itself is also a finalist in the upcoming Australian Museum’s 2021 Eureka Prizes which rewards excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement, and school science.
Findings from Dr Perry’s research are being used to inform conservation management practices and policies of endangered Australian monotremes, and to build extensive international collaborative networks to further conservation research.
The winners of the Awards will be announced on 3rd December, 2021.