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Dna Model

Dr Gill Murray-Dickson

Dr Gill Murray-Dickson
Biobank Research Fellow
Specific responsibility: Development of the Edinburgh Biobank hub across BBSRC funded CRYOARKS and European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) biobank initiatives.
Research interests/expertise: Conservation genetic and genomic analysis; Development of DNA-based laboratory protocols for informing population conservation management; DNA/tissue sample storage and archive.

Gill Murray-Dickson is a Biobank Research Fellow with the BBSRC funded CryoArks initiative.

Dr Murray-Dickson has a background in research and the application of population genetic analysis to inform conservation management of rare and endangered species.

She completed her PhD at the University of Aberdeen in 2011, examining population genetic structure of neutral and adaptive DNA markers in the palmate newt. She later worked at the RZSS WildGenes laboratory, where she collaborated closely with members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) community.

She has applied genetic and genomic tools to evaluate phylogeographic and population structure, hybrid status, population size, diet content, and environmental DNA viability; developing informative and transferable DNA-based assays for a wide range of species and to facilitate capacity building in collaborating countries. Working alongside government agencies, conservation charities, zoos and academic professionals, she has managed conservation genetic research for reticulated pythons, Scottish capercaillie, Malayan peacock pheasants, Ibis, Grey partridge, native invertebrate species, tigers, tortoise, and antelope species, among others.

Now based at the National Museums Collection Centre, Gill is working as a Biobank Research Fellow with the BBSRC funded CryoArks initiative. She is coordinating biobanking activities at NMS in conjunction with CryoArks partners and the EAZA biobank UK hub at RZSS Edinburgh zoo.

Her responsibilities include:

  • Establishment of biobank infrastructure and documentation
  • Curation of samples and data submitted to the hubs
  • Provision of end-user support and demonstrating research use of biobank resources
  • Developing education and awareness about biobanks and promoting the CryoArks/EAZA biobank initiatives.

Murray-Dickson G., Ghazali M., Ogden R., Auliya M. 2017. Phylogeography of the reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus ssp.): conservation implications for the worlds’ most traded snake species. 2017. PlosONE

Fletcher, K., Baines, D. & Murray-Dickson, G.  2017.  Can genetic techniques help estimate capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) population size and survival rates - a pilot study to develop survey methods. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 910.

Murray-Dickson G., Ogden R. 2014. Development of breed specific assays for beef and pork authentication. Defra Commissioned Report, FA0125.

Murray-Dickson G., Ogden R. 2014. Geographic traceability tools for commercial fish and fish products. Defra Commissioned Report, FA0125.

Murray-Dickson G., Berrow S., Reid R.J., Thompson P.M., Piertney S.B. 2011. Assessment of population structure using molecular analyses of tissue from strandings. In Thompson P.M., Cheney B., Ingram S., Stevick P., Wilson B., Hammond P.S. (Eds). Distribution, abundance and population structure of bottlenose dolphins in Scottish waters. Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage funded report. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 354.

Cronin M.T.D., Dearden J.C., Moss G.P., Murray-Dickson G. 1999. Investigation of the mechanism of flux across human skin in vitro by quantitative structure-permeability relationships. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 7: 325-330.

Duffy J.C., Cronin M.T.D., Dearden J.C., Moss G.P., Murray-Dickson G. 1999. Prediction of blood-brain barrier partitioning using QSAR analysis. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 51 (suppl.): 260.



This BBSRC (BBR) funded UK-wide collaboration aims to create the UK’s first comprehensive zoological Biobank for research and conservation.

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