Skip navigation
The Australian National University

Keogh Lab - Evolutionary biology & ecology of reptiles and amphibians

Teaching | Research | Research opportunities | Lab members | Lab awards | Publications | Grants | Links

Professor Scott Keogh

Building 44,
Research School of Biology,
The Australian National University,
Acton, ACT 0200
T: 61250641


Scott Keogh completed his BS at the University of Illinois (1991) and MS at Illinois State University (1993) before moving to Australia to do a PhD at the University of Sydney (1993-1997).  He started an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Sydney in 1997 but won his Lectureship and started at ANU in 1998.  Since then he has supervised to completion 13 honours students, 3 MPhil students and 8 PhD students and hosted 7 Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellows and multiple postdoctoral research associates. His current group is listed below. He also served as Convenor of the Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology and Genetics (2000-2011) and as the Associate Director (HDR) for the Research School of Biology (2009-2011).  He is now serving as the Head of the Division of Evolution, Ecology and Genetics (2012- ).

Check out the Keogh Lab Web Site


  • BIOL1009: Diversity of Life (I teach three weeks of vertebrate diversity)
  • BIOL2111: Australian Vertebrates (I coordinate the course and teach most of it)
  • BIOL3138: Special Topics Research Projects (I supervise one or two Special Topics research projects each year)

Teaching Awards
  • ANU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research Supervision, 2006
  • ANU Top Supervisor Award, 2009

Research interests

  • Molecular phylogenetics, phylogeography, biogeography and systematics of Australian frogs and reptiles
  • Evolutionary and molecular ecology (particularly mating systems) of Australian frogs and reptiles
  • See my web site for more details

Student research opportunities

Evolutionary biology of Australian reptiles and amphibians

Evolutionary biology of Australian reptiles and amphibians        Show more detail...
 I supervise research students in all areas of my research interests.  Each year I accept one new PhD student, one new honours student and one or two new Special Topics students.  Please contact me by email for further details:

Lab members

  • Renee Catullo (Visiting Fellow)
  • Kiki Dethmers (Visiting Fellow)
  • Damien Esquerre (Masters student)
  • Simon Ferrier (Adjunct Fellow)
  • Daniel Hoops (PhD student)
  • Scott Keogh (Lab Leader)
  • Gabrielle Openshaw (PhD student)
  • Mitzy Pepper (Postdoctoral Scientist)
  • Maxine Piggott (Postdoctoral Scientist)
  • Daniel Rabosky (Visiting Fellow)
  • Lisa Schwanz (Visiting Fellow)
  • Marta Vidal-Garcia (PhD student)

» Go to lab directory

Lab awards and achievements

Recent achievements
  • Dr. Conrad Hoskin won a Eureka Prize (2009) for Early Career Species Discovery
  • Dr. Megan Higgie won the R.A. Fisher Prize (2009) from the Society for the Study of Evolution
  • Possibly the greatest achievement of our lab - our work on sexual deception in African flat lizards was featured on the "Colbert Report" in segment called "when animals attack our morals"
  • Check out the lab web site for other news and media coverage of our research


Selected publications

Phylogenetic approaches to conservation genetics and evolutionary biology
Lukoschek, V, JS Keogh, JC Avise. 2012. Evaluating fossil calibrations for dating phylogenies in light of rates of molecular evolution: a comparison of three approaches. Systematic Biology 61:22-43.

Pepper, M, P Doughty MN Hutchinson, JS Keogh. 2011. Ancient drainages divide cryptic species in Australia’s arid zone: Morphological and multi-gene evidence for four new species of Beaked geckos (Rhynchoedura). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61:810-822.

Pepper, M, YWS Ho, MK Fujita, JS Keogh. 2011. The genetic legacy of aridification: Climate cycling fostered lizard diversification in Australian montane refugia and left low-lying deserts genetically depauperate. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61:750-759.

Pepper, M, MK Fujita, C Moritz, JS Keogh. 2011. Palaeoclimate change drove diversification among isolated mountain refugia in the Australian arid zone. Molecular Ecology 20:1529-1545.

Keogh, JS, DL Edwards, RN Fisher, PS Harlow. 2008. Molecular and morphological analysis of the critically endangered Fijian iguanas reveals cryptic diversity and a complex biogeographic history. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B. 363:3413-3426.

Morgan, MJ, D Hunter, W Osborne, R Pietch, JS Keogh. 2008. Assessment of genetic diversity in the critically endangered Australian corroboree frogs, Pseudophryne corroboree and P. pengilleyi, identifies four evolutionarily significant units for conservation. Molecular Ecology 17:3448-3463. 

Lukoschek, V, M Waycott, JS Keogh. 2008. Relative information content of polymorphic microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA for inferring dispersal and population genetic structure in the olive sea snake, Aipysurus laevis. Molecular Ecology 17:3062-3077. 

Sanders KL, MSY Lee, R Leijs, R Foster , JS Keogh. 2008. Molecular phylogeny and divergence dates for Australasian elapids and sea snakes (Hydrophiinae): Evidence from seven genes for rapid evolutionary radiations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21:882-895. Winner of the 2008 Slowinski Award for the best paper published worldwide in snake systematics. 

Morgan, MJ, JD Roberts, JS Keogh. 2007. Molecular phylogenetic dating supports an ancient endemic speciation model in Australia’s biodiversity hotspot. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 44:371-385. 

Keogh, JS, IAW Scott, C Hayes. 2005. Rapid and repeated origin of insular gigantism and dwarfism in Australian tiger snakes. Evolution 59:226-233. (Supported by Discovery Grant A19905692).

Evolutionary ecology
Whiting, MJ, JK Webb, JS Keogh. 2009. Flat lizard female mimics use sexual deception in visual but not chemical signals. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 276:1585-1591.

Doody, JS, S Freedberg, JS Keogh. 2009. Communal egg-laying in reptiles and amphibians: Evolutionary patterns and hypotheses. Quarterly Review of Biology 84:229-252.

Byrne, P, JS Keogh. 2007. Terrestrial toadlets use chemosignals to recognise conspecifics, locate mates and strategically adjust calling behaviour. Animal Behaviour 74:1155-1162. 

Byrne, PG, JS Keogh. 2009. Extreme sequential polyandry insures against nest failure in a frog. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 276:115-120. 

All publications

Click here to see a full list of publications on the ISI website...

Recent grants

My research program has been funded by the Australian Research Council since 1998.  I also have received funding from the Hermon-Slade Foundation, ABRS and numerous other organisations.


Back to top

Updated:  21 December 2010/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB /Page Contact:  RSB Webmaster