Dr Linda Neaves: Conservation Geneticist

email: Linda Neaves

Phone: +44 (0)131 248 3033

Fax: +44 (0)131 248 2901

Research Interests

I am a joint postdoctoral researcher at RBGE and the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics at the Australian Museum Research Institute. My research interests include:

  • Enhancing the application of genomic tools to inform wildlife conservation and management.   
  • Understanding diet and the interactions between animals and the plants they feed on
  • Molecular ecology, evolution and conservation genetics of terrestrial plants and animals, including dispersal, phylogeography, population structure, gene flow and hybridisation and impacts of habitat fragmentation
  • Enhancing the integration of genetic information and genetic tools into conservation and management programs and policy.

Current projects

Using DNA to understand bamboo and the complexity of giant panda diet

Precise information on diet can give insights into key relationships that may influence persistence and inform habitat management and restoration. Giant panda may be known for eating bamboo but their diet is still a complex issue.  This project employs genomic approaches to obtain detailed information on panda diet and bamboo distributions to refine our understanding of optimal panda habitat, how this may change in the future and how it can best be restored.


I have worked a diverse array of projects including the population genetics of iconic Australian species such as kangaroo and koala, including involvement with the koala genome project, the use of genetic data to inform captive breeding and wildlife management, species identification and phylogeny using genetic tools (including trace DNA). I have also been involved in several projects which integrate DNA tools and information into practice (Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations) and policy (Biodiversity Climate Change Impacts ReportCard)


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Dr Linda Neaves

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)