Research targets threatened shark 

Forensic scientist, Dr Louise McMahon

Research stemming from CDU is likely to have a bearing on the future of a threatened genus of shark.

Forensic scientist Dr Louise McMahon recently completed research on the identification and genetics of the threatened genus of shark called Glyphis.

Glyphis is a nationally and internationally threatened genus of shark about which scientists know very little. However, it is believed there are five possible species in the world, two of which occur within Australia (Glyphis sp. A and C).

Dr McMahon received funds from the Department of the Environment and Water Resources in 2007 to undertake the research in conjunction with the leader of Bioscience North Australia at CDU, Associate Professor Karen Gibb, and Dr Helen Larson, of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

The research details the results into a preliminary assessment of genetic differences between two Glyphis species and several carcharhiniid species.

Dr McMahon, who now works as a forensic scientist with the Northern Territory Police Fire and Emergency Services Forensic Biology Section, has maintained her links with the University through a guest lecture and workshop to final year CDU science students in a unit called DNA Analysis and Profiling.

Her research on Glyphis has been submitted to the journal Marine and Freshwater Research for publication.