Building 2/79, CSIRO Black Mountain
Canberra, ACT – AUSTRALIA 2601
2016-2020 Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University, Australia
Thesis title: Evolution of reptile diversity in tropical savannas – a study across scales and continents
Advisor: Craig Moritz
2010 – 2012 Master of Science in Animal Biology, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil
Thesis title: Phylogenetic diversity, habitat loss and conservation in South American pitvipers (Crotalinae: Bothrops and Bothrocophias)
Advisor: Cristiano de Campos Nogueira
2006 – 2009 Bachelor’s Degree in Biology; Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil. Advisor: Dr. Júlio César de Moura-Leite
Fluent in Portuguese. Intermediate level of Spanish. Advanced level of English.
Professional Experience/ Employment History
CSIRO – Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
2021- Current: Data Analyst – Atlas of Living Australia & EcoCommons Platform
• Manage upgrades to R infrastructure for the EcoCommons platform, leading projects to develop scripts, packages, and workflows for key analytical tasks in ecological and biodiversity modelling, delivering standardised, reproducible tools
• Contribute to projects within the ALA Science & Decision Support (SDS) Team, promoting collaboration and liaison between ALA & EcoCommons, supporting the delivery and design of outreach activities, analysis and reports
2021- Current: Relocation Technician- Australian National Wildlife Collection
• Curation and sorting of reptile and amphibian specimens present at the collection
• Replacement of ethanol and glass container, as needed
• Record identification changes and replacements in the database
Australian National University, ANU, Australia
2021 – current: Affiliated Researcher
• Assist with the Cardillo and Moritz lab activities, including lab work, sequencing of genetic data, statistical analyses, and scientific paper and report writing
• Integrate genomic approaches using double digest restriction-site associated sequencing (ddRAD) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (DaRTseq) to address key questions in evolutionary biologyAffiliate researcher. I assist with the Cardillo and Moritz lab activities, including lab work, sequencing of genetic data, statistical analyses and scientific paper and report writing. For this role, I integrate genomic approaches using double digest restriction-site associated sequencing (ddRAD) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (DaRTseq) to address key questions in evolutionary biology. While working on these projects I have built relationships with external collaborators.
2016 – 2020: Research Assistant and Teaching and Demosntrating
• Research Assistant. Assisted with the Moritz lab activities, including lab and field work, sequencing of genetic data, statistical analyses and scientific paper and report writing. Some of the activities included obtain morphological measurements and tissue sampling in the field for mitochondrial DNA sequencing, filtering of species distribution data from outside sources as GBIF, generate species distribution maps for relevant lizard species and co-write manuscripts.
• Teaching and Demonstrating. Worked together with faculty members at the university, assisting on a diverse range of classes preparing class material, and marking presentations and tests. Teach small groups of students how to perform DNA extractions, collect fieldwork data, and ran statistical analyses
University of Michigan, UMich, United States
2020 – 2021: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
• Postdoctoral Researcher. Led and developed an empirical research project on the development of a new species delimitation method (DELINEATE)
• Developed a project on how geographical sampling gaps can affect our inferences on species delimitation, integrating genomic and species distribution data
Universidade de Brasília, UNB, Brazil
2014 – 2015: Research Assistant
• Collaborated with academics and research partners on the project “Rede de Pesquisa Biota do Cerrado”. Assisted on many fieldwork expeditions across the Cerrado biome range, ran statistical analyses, and co-write manuscripts
2012 – 2013: Lab Manager
• Lab-manager of the Genetic and Biodiversity lab, maintained by four Professors. Responsibilities included supervising laboratory users, administrating stock products and goods, standard lab maintenance, DNA sequencing, and performing genetic and phylogeographic analyses
Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, ICMBio, Brazil
2013 – 2014: Scientific Researcher
• Scientific Researcher. Led data preparation, including the compilation of species’ natural history and distribution data
• Set up workshops with a broad range of researcher to discuss species endangered status
• Produced detailed reports, maintaining excellent records of the entire selection process and findings
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, PUC/PR, Brazil
2008 – 2009: Scientific Initiation (PIBIC)
• Scientific Initiation, with the Museu de História Natural Capão da Imbuia. Measured reptiles species and collected geographic distribution data to develop a scientific project
Museu de História Natural Capão da Imbuia, MHNCI, Brazil
2008 – 2008: Intern
• Intern at the Herpetological Collection. Responsible for the maintenance of the collection, including classification of specimens, and adding data to the museum database
Secretaria Municipal do Meio Ambiente, SMMA, Brazil
2008 – 2008: Intern
• Intern at the department of Environmental Education. Supported the promotion of science education (community service) programs across Curitiba
Prefeitura Municipal de Curitiba, P/CURITIBA, Brazil
• Intern at the city Zoo (Zoológico Municipal de Curitiba). Responsible to the science communication and education center, including camping on weekends with school kids to teach about nature and conservation, with night visits to the zoo
Grants and Awards
2022 Awarded as a “Top Cited Article 2020-2021” by Journal of Biogeography, with the paper entitled “Evolutionary history of Neotropical savannas geographically concentrates species, phylogenetic and functional diversity of lizards”
2020 ANCLAS Research Grant, Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies, The Australian National University ($4000 AUD)
2019 Australian Biological Resources Study,Department of the Environment and Energy, International Student Travel Grant ($1500 AUD)
2019 The Australian National University: Vice Chancellor’s Higher Degree Research Travel Grant ($1500 AUD)
2018 Graduate Travel Award, Society for the Study of Evolution ($500 USD)
2016 Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), International Student PhD Research Fellowship ($184,500 AUD)
2014 Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Distrito Federal (FAPDF), International Student Travel Grant ($8000 BRL)
2013 Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Distrito Federal (FAPDF), International Student Travel Grant ($8000 BRL)
2012 Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Distrito Federal (FAPDF), International Student Travel Grant ($8000 BRL)
2010 Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Master’s Student Fellowship ($28,800 BRL)
2009 Programa Institucional de Bolsas de Iniciação Científica (PIBIC), Graduate Research Fellowship ($3000 BRL)
Most Recent Presentation of Work
2021 Fenker, J.; Esquerre,D; Aragão, A; Colli, G; Rabosky, D. Uma vida maravilhosa nas savanas tropicais: radiações independentes de squamatas mostram repetida convergência ecológica. I Simpósio Paranaense de Zoologia. Invited speaker.
2020 Fenker, J.; Esquerre,D; Aragão, A; Colli, G; Rabosky, D. Investigating patterns of ecomorphological diversification and convergence in savannas from Australia and Brazil. 9th World Congress of Herpetology, New Zealand. Oral presentation
2019 Fenker, J.; Melville, J; Moritz, C. How landscape features influence the genetic diversity of lizards with different habitat specialization in Australia. Evolution Meeting, United States. Oral presentation
2018 Fenker, J. et al. Evolutionary history of Neotropical savannas geographically concentrated species. Australian Herpetological Meeting. Oral presentation
2018 Fenker, J.; Moritz, C. Does dispersal rates predict the scale of phylogeographic structure? Evolution-Joint Congress. Oral presentation
2018 Fenker, J.; Moritz, C. How dispersal rates influence beta diversity of species. Genetics Society of AustralAsia. Oral presentation
2015 Tedeschi, LG.; Fenker, J.; Nogueira, CC.; Giugliano, LG. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of Psomophis, and the history of Diagonal Neotropical Open Areas. Evolution Meeting. Oral presentation
2014 Fenker, J.; Tedeschi JG.; Nogueira, CC.; Pyron, RA. Phylogenetic Diversity and Conservation of South American Pitvipers. 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC). Poster presentation
2013 Fenker, J.; Tedeschi JG.; Moura-Leite, JC. Estatus de conservación de los lagartos paranaenses (Reptilia, Squamata). XIV Congreso Argentino de Herpetologia.
2012 Fenker, J.; Tedeschi JG.; Nogueira, CC. Phylogenetic diversity, habitat loss and conservation priorities in Neotropical pitvipers. 7th World Congress of Herpetology
2018-2020 Australian National University, Demonstrator, BIOL1008: Human Biology
2018-2020 Australian National University, Demonstrator, BIOL2151: Genetics
2018-2020 Australian National University, Demonstrator, BIOL1009: Diversity of Life
2018-2020 Australian National University, Demonstrator, BIOL8702: Advanced Research Techniques- Master course
2018 Australian National University, Demonstrator, BIOL8291: Research Presentation Skills- Master course
2017-2018 Australian National University, Demonstrator, ENVS1003: Introduction to Environmental and Social Research
2013 Universidade de Brazilia, Lecturer: Biologia dos Répteis “Biology of Reptiles”
2011 Universidade de Brazilia, Demonstrator: Biologia dos Répteis “Biology of Reptiles”
2021 Supported the workshops “A beginners guide to Data Analysis and Visualisation in R for Ecologists in the EcoCommons’ cloud” and “Using the EcoCommons platform to run species distribution models and make climate projections” at the Ecological Society of Australia meeting, online, Australia.
2021 Invited examiner of the PhD student Lidia Barbosa Martins, Post-Graduation in Ecology program from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Brazil.
2021 Invited qualification examiner of the Masters student Andre Yves Barboza Martins, Post-Graduation in Ecology program from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Brazil.
2020 Invited speaker on the “I Simpósio Paranaense de Zoologia”, Universidade Federal do Paraná, UFPR, Brazil.
2020-2021 Advisor of the undergrad student Rhiannon Shembri, during her Summer Internship at the Australian National University, Australia.
2020-2021 Advisor of the undergrad student Michela Salafia, during her Summer Internship at the Australian National University, Australia.
2019 Coordinator of the workshop “Presentation Skills”, open to the Division of Ecology and Evolution at the Australian National University, Australia.
2018 Organization of the workshop ”SNPs in population- and phylo-genomics”, at the University of Canberra, Australia.
2018 Speaker during visit of the National Youth Science Forum at the Australian National University, Australia.
Inclusion and Roles
2022 Invited speaker at the podcast “What the Duck?!”, ABC Radio National, Australia.
2021-current Member of the Australian Society of Herpetology and the Ecological Society of Australia.
2021-current Member of the “STEM Women” initiative led by the Australian Academy of Science to connect women with STEM skills with the public and career-advancing opportunities.
2020-current Member of “Herpetologia segundo as Herpetólogas”, a Brazilian women in science initiative aiming to promote science dissemination and environmental education, highlighting women production in herpetology. It counts with more than 10k followers on Instagram (@herpetosegundoherpetologas on Instagram; website).
2019-current Member of “Rede Kunhã Asé”, Brazilian organization of women in science, promoting environmental education, courses, and workshops to incentive girls and women to follow careers in STEMM. It counts with more than 4,700 followers on Instagram (@kunhaase on Instagram; website).
2021 Coordinated and presented at the initiative “Walks and Talks”, aimed at creating welcoming and educational events for keen participants to learn about the natural history of animals and plants in the bush capital of Australia.
2021 Translation to Portuguese of the illustrated children’s book “Being a scientist is extraordinary!”, by Dr. Jenna Wraith, designed to empower and encourage young girls to explore many of the exciting things a scientist can do.
2017 – 2020 Ecology and Evolution Division HDR Representative, Research Training Committee, Research School of Biology, at the Australian National University, Australia. I was responsible to interact with students and professors, promote events and search for creative ideas to improve the interaction and inclusion of all the members of the School of Biology.
2017 Mentor at the 50fifty program mentoring program, which promotes gender equality in science, technology, engineering, and maths at the Australian National University, Australia
Skills and Certifications
Leadership and management skills
Leadership and supervisory role experience, including recruitment, training, and day-to-day management of students, and sessional tutors, in research labs, field and teaching environments. Lead a project to develop & maintain R packages and scripts. Able to identify critical challenges and engage people with the expertise to overcome these. Proactive approach to identify new opportunities for collaboration and capacity building. Participated in the writing and application process of many research grants in Brazil and Australia. Laboratory management experience, including staff training and inductions, development of risk management plans, organization, and purchasing. Coordinated large working groups organized workshops and events for researchers, graduate students, and the general public. Experience mentoring and supervising students, co-supervised two PhD and Masters students, one Honours student and supervised two Summer Students. Demonstrate commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, participating in diversity committee and discussions and women in Science initiatives.
Experience and training in science communication, technical writing and editing, academic publishing, and writing for blogs and social media. Published in many peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and technical/government reports. Presented at national and international conferences, including genetics, ecology, and biogeography meetings, a few times as an invited speaker (see my complete CV for details). Presented in talks and events in a non-academic context. Experience in science communication and giving interviews for radio and print media. Experience in science propagation on social media, especially using women in STEM profiles on Instagram and Twitter platforms.
Highly experienced with statistical modelling (including linear regression, logistic regression, multivariate techniques, mixed effects models) and interpretation of complex data. Experienced with genomic analysis. Types of data include image, spatial, multivariate, discrete and continuous data.
Advanced experience with R, mapping and georeferencing in ArcGIS and Google Earth Pro. I am also confident with sequence alignment and editing of genetic data, from mitochondrial to next generation sequence. Working in museums and assisting in tissue collections management, I worked on the construction and maintenance of databases in the FileMaker Pro and Sequel Pro programs. I am also adept at Microsoft Office.
I assisted in many systematic reptiles’ surveys in remote places, collecting morphological measurements and preparing species, developing physiological experiments and getting data of the environmental conditions. In 2016 I helped the North Territory Government in a survey on Litchfield National Park, collecting information of all the fauna and fauna, using traps and active observation. Participated on one fieldwork season at the Kakadu and Nitmaluk National Park. In 2019, I was one of the coordinators of the Bush Blitz surveys, looking for reptiles around the Australia Capital Territory.
Natural History Museum
I worked with museums during all my academic life, where I learn how to measure, count scales (for reptiles), and museum vouchering and prepare them for conservation and relocation. I have experience with curation, nomenclature, and taxonomic identification, looking for distinguishable characters and following identification keys.
Standard Automobile Drivers License, Senior First Aid, Chemical Safety.