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Mrs Giulia Perina

Overview of thesis

Patterns of evolution and distribution of the  relictual, interstitial, subterranean Bathynellidae (Crustacea: Malacostraca:  Bathynellacea) in the north of Western Australia

The scope of this research is to investigate the biodiversity and distribution of the poorly known group of Bathynellidae in the north of Western Australia. This family occurs in most of the Australian aquifers, its species are likely to have restricted and localised distributions, but very little  is known about them. Since the Bathynellidae have a very conservative morphology and few characters taxonomically available, the morphological analysis will be supported by molecular data using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (mtDNA and nDNA respectively) at all levels of the study, and the genetic information  will be used to construct the phylogeny of the group. The research aims to examine the different patterns of distribution and speciation of this group at aquifer, catchment and bioregion levels, as both determinants of speciation events (through vicariance), and as proxies for the geological and climatic  events that occurred mainly in the Tertiary Period. A comprehensive study on Bathynellidae will improve impact assessments, management and monitoring of the groundwater and underground resources, especially in a region where human activities have been increasing exponentially, putting pressure on the  environment


  • Master in Evolutionary Biology (2007)
  • Bachelor of Science-Biology (2004)

Other Qualifications

  • Eureka 4WD Training (2010)
  • DTEC training (2010)
  • ArcGIS 10 Training Introduction (2011)
  • PSS Open Water Licence (2008) and advance SSI licence (2013)
  • Specialised Training for Cataloguers of Naturalistic Assets (2008) - National Association of the Scientific Museums (Italy).
  • Speleological training (C.R.N. Monti Lessini di Verona, Italy, 2004)


Research Interests

  • Systematic, biogeography and evolution of invertebrates
  • Taxonomy and phylogenesis
  • Subterranean fauna (troglofauna and stygofauna)

Past Research employment history

  • Research thesis for the Master degree: “Adaptations to the underground life in the biological cycle and in the reproductive behaviour of cave insects (Coleoptera, Cholevinae), considering biometric and phylogenetic data too”.
  • Research thesis for the Bachelor degree: “Monitoring of Chiroptera in a communitarian area of zoological interest in Verona”.
  • I followed the mating behaviour and life history of six species of Cholevinae, using biometric techniques to determine the level of adaptation to the underground environment within each species
  • I completed my final undergraduate research project on the monitoring of bats (Chiroptera) in a communitarian area of zoological interest in Verona, Italy in collaboration with the Museum of Natural History of Verona. The project involved observations in the field of the bats’ distribution, species identification using a bat detector and the study of their flight patterns.

Other work

Past Teaching

  • High School Teacher
    Professional School of Agrarian “Ettore Stefani -
    Verona, Italy
    November-December 2007
    Main subjects taught: Science of the Earth, Biochemistry and Microbiology (theory and laboratory), Application of Ecology

Scholarships and Awards

  • Postgraduate research scholarship APA
  • Australian Biological Resources Study APA Top-up Grant
  • International Conference on Subterranean Biology (2008) Grant
  • Western Australian Museum in-kind support through the Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefit Fund
  • Conference best oral presentation at the International Conference of Subterranean Biology - Jun 2016 - Arkansas (US)

Recent Publications

Journal Article

  • Perina, G., Camacho, A. I., Huey, J. A., Horwitz, P., & Koenders, A. (2018). Understanding subterranean variability: the first genus of Bathynellidae (Bathynellacea, Crustacea) from Western Australia described through a morphological and multigene approach. Invertebrate Systematics, (in press)
  • Camacho, A.I., P. Mas-Peinado, B.A. Dorda, A. Casado, A. Brancelj, L.R.F.D. Knight, B. Hutchins, C. Bou, G. Perina and I. Rey, 2017. Molecular tools unveil an underestimated diversity in a stygofauna family: A preliminary world phylogeny and an updated morphology of bathynellidae (crustacea: Bathynellacea). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society: zlx063-zlx063.
  • Perina, G., & Camacho, A. I. (2016). Permanent slides for morphological studies of small crustaceans: Serban’s method and its variation applied on Bathynellacea (Malacostraca). Crustaceana, 89(10), 1161-1173.
  • Karanovic, T., S. M. Eberhard, G. Perina and S. Callan (2013). “Two new ameirid copepods (Crustacea: Copepoda: Harpacticoida) expose flaws in conservation of short range endemic species threatened by mining developments in Western Australia”. Invertebrate Systematics 27, 5: 485-501.
  • Judd, S. & G. Perina (2013). “An illustrated key to the morphospecies of terrestrial isopods (Crustacea: Oniscidea) of Barrow Island, Western Australia”. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 83, 185-207.
  • Smith, G. B., S. M. Eberhard, G. Perina and T. Finston (2012). "New species of short range endemic troglobitic silverfish (Zygentoma: Nicoletiidae) from subterranean habitats in Western Australia's semi-arid Pilbara region." Records of the Australian Museum 27: 101-116.
  • Karanovic, I., M. S. Eberhard, G. Perina (2012). "Austromesocypris bluffensis sp. n. (Crustacea, Ostracoda, Cypridoidea, Scottiinae) from subterranean aquatic habitats in Tasmania, with a key to world species of the subfamily." ZooKeys 215: 1–31.

Conference Publications/ Presentations/Posters

  • Eberhard, S., G. Perina, N. Coen, S. Callan, K. Eriksson (2011). “Barcoding subterranean invertebrates for environmental impact assessment in Western Australia: an environmental consultancy's perspective. Fourth International Barcode of Life Conference, Adelaide, Australia”.
  • Eberhard, S., N. Steven, G. Perina, P. Bell (2010). “Troglofauna in the Pilbara region, Western Australia - Patterns in diversity and distribution, and sampling consideration for conservation assessment. 20th International Conference on Subterranean Biology”. Postojna, Slovenia.
  • Eberhard, S. M., N. Stevens, G. Perina, P. Bell (2009). “Troglofauna in the Pilbara region, Western Australia – a remarkable hidden diversity poses a conservation challenge to the mining industry. Abstract of paper presented to Darwin 200: Evolution & Biodiversity” - The combined    Australian Entomological Society's 40th AGM & Scientific Conference / Society of Australian Systematic Biologists / 9th Invertebrate Biodiversity & Conservation, 25-28th September 2009, Darwin, Australia, p. 34. Darwin, Australia.
  • Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (SASB) - Dec 2015 - Perth (WA) – oral presentation:  First light on a neglected group of subterranean Crustacea (Bathynellidae: Bathynellacea) in the Pilbara region: the Ethel Gorge aquifer community.
  • International Conference of Subterranean Biology - Jun 2016 - Arkansas (US) – oral presentation:  Remarkable biodiversity of a neglected group of stygofauna: Bathynellidae (Bathynellacea, Crustacea) in the north of Western Australia.
  • Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (SASB) - Nov 2017 - Adelaide (WA) – oral presentation: Remarkable biodiversity of subterranean Bathynellidae (Bathynellacea, Crustacea) in the north of Western Australia and the status of the Bathynella genus.
  • Royal Society of Western Australia (RSWA) conference - Jul 2018 - Perth (WA) – poster:  Research and stakeholders: Bathynellidae (Bathynellacea, Crustacea) case studies in mining areas. New genera from Australia with fascinating patterns of distribution.
  • International Conference of Subterranean Biology – Aug 2018 – Aveiro (Portugal) – oral presentation: Research and stakeholders: Bathynellidae (Bathynellacea, Crustacea) case studies in mining areas. New genera from Australia and the enigma of the “cosmopolitan” Bathynella genus.


Dr Annette Koenders (Edith Cowan University)
Professor Pierre Horwitz (Edith Cowan University)
Dr Joel Huey (Western Australian Museum)


Mrs Giulia Perina
PhD Student
Centre for Ecosystem Management
School of Science
Mobile: 0415 898 101

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