Dr Mervyn Shepherd BSc(Hons)(Qld), PhD(Qld) 

Dr Shepherd's research interests are in the application of molecular genetics to
forest species for to support improvement or management of forest resources. 

Current research projects include genetic mapping and marker-trait cosegregation analysis
of vegetative propagation characters in Corymbia (formerly Eucalyptus) hybrids,
population structure and diversity of in the spotted gums, gene pool management and risk
assessment in Corymbia spp., and to study molecular variation in genes involved in lignin

A major focus of Dr Shepherd's work over the past 13 years has been the use of
species' hybrids to elucidate the genetic architecture of traits of interest to
forestry and as a system to study genome organisation and evolution. 

Journal articles


Contrasting breeding systems revealed in the rainforest genus Davidsonia (Cunoniaceae): can polyembryony turn the tables on rarity? (with Frances G. Eliott, Maurizio Rossetto, Peter C. Bundock Dr, Nicole Rice, and Robert J. Henry), Australian Journal of Botany (2014)

Plant breeding systems can have a profound effect on a species ability to persist, colonise...



Genetic control of flowering in spotted gum, Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata and C. maculata (with Myralyn Abasolo, David J. Lee, Lyndon O. Brooks, and Carolyn A. Raymond), Australian Journal of Botany (2014)

Genetically controlled asynchrony in anthesis is an effective barrier to gene flow between planted and...



High-throughput prediction of eucalypt lignin syringyl/guaiacyl content using multivariate analysis: a comparison between mid-infrared, near-infrared, and Raman spectroscopies for model development (with Jason S. Lupoi, Seema Singh, Mark Davis, David J. Lee, Blake A. Simmons, and Robert J. Henry), Biotechnology for Biofuels (2014)


In order to rapidly and efficiently screen potential biofuel feedstock candidates for quintessential traits,...



Deviant near-infrared spectra allows identification of Corymbia hybrids (with Myralyn Abasolo, Carolyn Raymond, Roger Meder, and Mervyn Shepherd), Forest Ecology and Management (2013)

The study examined the potential of Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy for field diagnosis of...



Microsatellite markers for Eucalyptus pilularis (Subgenus Eucalyptus); sourcing genetic markers outside the subgenus (with C Bihua and Robert J. Henry), Silvae Genetica (2013)

Microsatellite markers remain the most broadly used molecular marker in eucalypt genetics. A major advantage...


Book chapters

Genetic control and architecture of adventitious rooting in forest trees (with M Dieters and Brian Baltunis), Adventitious root formation of forest trees and horticultural woody plants - from genes to applications (2009)

Quantitative and molecular genetic control of wood properties and chemistry in Eucalyptus pilularis (with Carolyn Raymond, M Henson, and T Sexton), Revisiting Eucalypts 2009 (2009)

Raymond, CA, Henson, M, Shepherd, M & Sexton, T 2009, 'Quantitative and molecular genetic control...


Molecular markers in tree improvement: characterisation and use in eucalyptus (with Megan E. Jones), Molecular marker systems in plant breeding and crop improvement (2004)

Unpublished papers

Chemical variation in the leaf essential oils of Australian Corymbia spp. (with Myrna A. Deseo, K M. Shepherd, M Abasolo, and D J. Lee), 41st International Symposium on Essential Oils (2010)

Conference publications

Eucalypt comparative genomics identifies model genes to study the effect of domestication or range depletion on adaptive variation (with Timothy Sexton, Dane Thomas, Robert J. Henry, and Michael Henson), IBC XVIII International Botanical Congress (2011)

In plants, balancing selection may cause the retention of polymorphism important for adaptation in populations...


Plant DNA barcoding using chloroplast genome sequences (with Catherine J. Nock, Daniel LE Waters, Peter C. Bundock, and Robert J. Henry), IBC XVIII International Botanical Congress (2011)

Chloroplast DNA sequence data have played a critical role in the development of plant DNA...


Whole organelle genomes from total plant DNA sequencing (with Catherine J. Nock, Daniel LE Waters, Peter C. Bundock, and Robert J. Henry), Southern Cross Plant Science research papers (2011)

Short gun sequencing of whole plant DNA preparations provides short reads that includes good coverage...


Seasonality of flowering in Corymbia citriodora subsp variegata (Spotted gum) (with M Abasolo and David J. Lee), Proceedings CRC for Forestry Annual Science Meeting (2010)

Conservation of single nucleotide polymorphisms in 44 wood quality candidate genes of Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus pyrocarpa and Eucalyptus pilularis (with Timothy R. Sexton, Robert J. Henry, Luke J. McManus, and Dane Thomas), Plant and Animal Genomes XVIII Conference (2010)

Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) code for much of the morphological variation observed between individuals. The...



Eucalypts for biofuel production in Northern Australia: identifying species from current and future testing programs (with David Lee, Paul Turnbull, Troy Brown, David Bush, Jeremy Brawner, John Bartle, Paul Macdonell, and Robert J. Henry), (2011)

This RIRDC project identifies research needed to better define the choice of species and production...