Shandiya Balasubramaniam

Dr Shandiya Balasubramaniam

Ian Potter Biodiversity Research Fellow

About me

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I am an evolutionary ecologist with an interest in avian systems. My research integrates molecular ecology, conservation biology and wildlife disease ecology to understand adaptive responses to environmental variation. I use molecular techniques with field studies and museum collections to ask (and answer) these questions.  

Currently, the focus of my research is on the population genetics of the Plains-wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus), a critically endangered grassland specialist, and the ecological implications of disease transmission in threatened Psittaciformes (parrots and cockatoos).


PhD, University of Melbourne, 2015

BSc (Hons), University of Melbourne, 2007

Teaching and students

I'm available for student supervision.

Courses taught

Field Biology of Australian Wildlife (UoM)


Balasubramaniam S, Mulder RA, Sunnucks P, Pavlova A, Melville J (2017) MHC class II β exon 2 variation in pardalotes (Pardalotidae) is shaped by selection, recombination and gene conversion. Immunogenetics 69: 101-111.

Balasubramaniam S, Bray RD, Mulder RA, Sunnucks P, Pavlova A, Melville J (2016) New data from basal Australian songbird lineages show that complex structure of MHC class II β genes has early evolutionary origins within passerines. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16:112.

Balasubramaniam S, Mulder RA, Sunnucks P, Pavlova A, Amos JN, Melville J (2013) Prevalence and diversity of avian haematozoa in three species of Australian passerine. Emu 113:353-358.

Amos N, Balasubramaniam S, Grootendorst L, Harrisson K, Lill A, Mac Nally RC, Pavlova A, Radford JQ, Takeuchi N, Thomson JR, Sunnucks P (2013) Little evidence that condition, stress indicators, sex ratio, or homozygosity are related to landscape or habitat attributes in declining woodland birds. Journal of Avian Biology 44:45-54.

Balasubramaniam S, Guay P-J (2008) Purple swamphens (Porphyrio porphyrio) attempting to prey upon black swan (Cygnus atratus) eggs and preying upon a cygnet on an urban lake in Melbourne, Australia. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120:633-635.

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