Dr Luana Lins

Dr Luana Lins is a postdoctoral fellow in CSIRO’s Environomics Future Science Platform. Luana is interested in the evolution and diversity of organisms and she is currently excited about the use of cutting-edge technology to make molecular species identification accessible outside of the lab.

A woman holding a dangonfly gently on her finger.

Luana on a field trip in the Amazon in 2009. Credit: Tiago Porto.

Her research interests include the use of molecular techniques to answer questions about the genomic basis of adaptation to polar environments, the time frame of colonization of different environments and to investigating the factors that affect evolutionary rates. Luana received her PhD in Biological Sciences from The University of Sydney in 2015, where she focused on the molecular phylogeny of isopods. Her previous training in Brazil was on taxonomy and systematics of crustaceans.

Her project is “What bug is that? Mobile DNA sequencing in your pocket“, working to enable real-time species identification in the field.

Why choose a career in science?

I wanted to be a Marine Biologist when I started studying biology. Being a first generation in higher education I did not know that a career as a scientist was possible, but at the university I started to get more and more involved with research and one thing led to the next. Fast forward almost 15 years, here I am a scientist in Australia, something that I could not even dream possible!

What is exciting about your project?

My current project is very exciting because it will allow anyone to be able to identify species and to help discover biodiversity. Imagine all those bushwalks we have been on, and wondered what that bug, or that plant were! Being able to have information about our fauna and flora in our hands is very exciting and it’s useful too. Biosecurity officers can reliably identify species at the borders and be able to make decisions regarding potential pests entering Australia.

What other interests do you have?

Outside of work, I like to take photos, bush walk, paint watercolours, pet my adorable cats and dance.

More profile information: https://people.csiro.au/s/l/luana-lins