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


Ecotype variation in early growth, coppicing, and shoot architecture of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) (with Rachel Wood, Carolyn A. Raymond, Gary A. Ablett, and Terry J. Rose), Industrial Crops and Products (2015)

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is native to south eastern Australia where it is also grown...



Ecotypic responses to flood and drought in tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) (with Rachel Wood, Camilla Bloomfield, and Carolyn A. Raymond), Crop and Pasture Science (2015)

Plantation-grown Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) is the principal source of tea tree oil in Australia....



High-throughput prediction of acacia and eucalypt lignin syringyl/guaiacyl content using Ft-Raman spectroscopy and partial least squares modeling (with Jason S. Lupoi, Adam Healey, Seema Singh, Robert Sykes, Mark Davis, David J. Lee, Blake A. Simmons, and Robert J. Henry), BioEnergy Research (2015)

High-throughput techniques are necessary to efficiently screen potential lignocellulosic feedstocks for the production of renewable...



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...


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)

Data collections


Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) population study (with Timothy R. Sexton, Dane Thomas, Michael Henson, and Robert J. Henry), Data Collections (2015)

DNA fingerprints for 567 Eucalyptus pilularis or E. pyrocarpa trees used in a study of...


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)

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)


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...