Koala Genome

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Ages: 13+

Duration: 60 mins

It’s real-world CSI! Through modern forensic testing labs in our oldest institutions, scientists are playing key roles in solving crimes, from murders to wildlife trafficking.

Teens and their families are invited to go behind the scenes of forensic science with experts in the field from the comfort of home.

Join ABC Sydney Evenings host Sarah Macdonald to hear stories of the wild cases that scientists from the Australian Museum Research Institute and The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney have worked on – and why this branch of science has become so integral to 21st century law enforcement.

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Sarah Macdonald

Photo of Sarah Macdonald


Sarah Macdonald is currently the presenter for the Evenings program on ABC Radio Sydney. She previously presented youth network’s arts show Creatures of the Spotlight and then the triple j Morning Show. Sarah also worked in television on programs such as Recovery, Race Around the World and Two Shot.

She lived in India for several years where her husband was working as an ABC foreign correspondent, and while there wrote the international bestseller Holy Cow about her experiences. Since then she’s written for numerous publications and built the Weekend Nightlife Show, which she’s loved presenting to the nation’s night owls for the last three years.

Sarah currently co-presents The Full Catastrophe story-telling event and podcast with Rebeca Huntley and has a new book coming out next year called So You’re having a Teenager – the A to Z of Adolescence with Cathy Wilcox.

Dr Greta Frankham


Dr Greta Frankham is a conservation geneticist and wildlife forensic scientist at the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics (ACWG) at the Australian Museum Research Institute. Greta now oversees wildlife forensic casework carried out by the ACWG for a wide range of state and federal agencies as well as other animal industries with compliance obligations and has provided expert witness evidence for court proceedings resulting from these cases.

Kyle Ewart


Kyle is currently undertaking a PhD at the Australian Museum and the University of Sydney on the ‘population genomics of two commonly traded Australian cockatoo species and the invasive common myna.’ With an interest and background in applied wildlife genetics and wildlife forensic science, Kyle hopes his research will help combat the illegal wildlife trade, assist the conservation of endangered wildlife species and improve the management of invasive species.

Dr Barbara Briggs


Barbara is an Honorary Research Associate in Systematic Botany at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Her research is in in the systematics, phylogeny and morphology of Southern Hemisphere plant families. Over many years, this has included describing 51 new species, reclassifying 44, describing two new subfamilies and publishing a DNA-based phylogeny of the restiid clade.

Sydney Science Trail for everyone

The super-fun online Sydney Science Trail is packed with on-demand activities, kids games and opportunities to learn both at home and in the classroom. Take the trail and be rewarded for what you discover. Complete the science quiz at the end of each level and receive your badge – see how many you can collect!