Roshmi Sarma in field

Key Info

  • Position Title
    Researcher, Herpetology
  • Section
    Herpetology Collection
    Australian Museum Research Institute

I am an engineer turned biologist with primary areas of research focusing on amphibians, invasive species, ecological epigenetics and biodiversity conservation. I am particularly interested in understanding mechanisms underlying rapid adaptation in species. Currently, as part of the team at the Australian Museum, my research is centered on the exciting field of museum genomics. By harnessing the genetic information preserved in formalin-fixed historical specimens, my aim is to delve into the genetic and epigenetic diversity, evolutionary history, and population dynamics of species, with a particular focus on amphibians. This approach enables us to gain valuable insights into the genetic adaptations and changes that have shaped species over time, both in the past and in the present.


PhD, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia (2021): Experimental manipulation of DNA methylation in invasive cane toads causes long-term, intergenerational, and regionally differential effects on ecologically-relevant traits.

Master of Technology (Environmental Science and Engineering), BIT, Mesra, India (2012).

Member of STEM Women (Australian Academy of Science).



  1. Boris Yagound, Roshmi R. Sarma, Richard J. Edwards, Mark F. Richardson, Carlos M. Rodriguez Lopez, Michael R. Crossland, Gregory P. Brown, Jayna L. DeVore, Richard Shine, Lee A. Rollins. “Is developmental plasticity triggered by DNA methylation changes in the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina)? ” bioRxiv 2023.10.26.564158; doi:
  2. Russo, Alice G., Emma F. Harding, Grace JH Yan, Daniel Selechnik, Simon Ducatez, Jayna L. DeVore, Jia Zhou., Sarma, Roshmi R., Lee, Yin P., Mark Richardson., Shine, Richard., Rollins. Lee A., White, Peter A. "Discovery of Novel Viruses Associated with the Invasive Cane Toad (Rhinella marina) in Its Native and Introduced Ranges." Frontiers in Microbiology (2021): 2469.
  3. Sarma, Roshmi R., Crossland, Michael R., Eyck, Harrison J.F., DeVore, Jayna L., Edwards, Richard J., Cocomazzo, Michael., Zhou, Jia., Brown, Gregory P., Shine, Richard., Rollins. Lee A. “Intergenerational effects of manipulating DNA methylation in the early life of an iconic invader.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society b. (2021).
  4. Sarma, Roshmi R., Richard J. Edwards, Ondi L. Crino, Harrison JF Eyck, Paul D. Waters, Michael R. Crossland, Richard Shine, and Lee A. Rollins. "Do epigenetic changes drive corticosterone responses to alarm cues in larvae of an invasive amphibian?" Integrative and Comparative Biology 60, no. 6 (2020): 1481-1494.
  5. Zhou, Jia, Tiffanie Maree Nelson, Carlos Rodriguez Lopez, Roshmi Rekha Sarma, Shao Jia Zhou, and Lee Ann Rollins. "A comparison of nonlethal sampling methods for amphibian gut microbiome analyses." Molecular ecology resources 20, no. 4 (2020): 844-855.
  6. Aravind, N. A., Roshmi Rekha Sarma, and N. A. Madhyastha. "Conservation of Cremnoconchus Blanford 1869, an iconic freshwater gastropod genus from the Western Ghats, India." Current Science (2016): 1097-1103.
  7. Seshadri, Kadaba Shamanna, H. Priti, G. Ravikanth, M. K. Vidisha, K. K. Vineeth, Ramit Singal, Roshmi Rekha Sarma, N. A. Aravind, and Kotambylu Vasudeva Gururaja. "Redescription and Range Extension of Microhyla sholigari Dutta & Ray (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from South West India." Zootaxa 4208, no. 6 (2016): 547-560.
  8. Priti, H., Rekha Sarma Roshmi, Badrinath Ramya, H. S. Sudhira, G. Ravikanth, Neelavara Anantharam Aravind, and Kotambylu Vasudeva Gururaja. "Integrative taxonomic approach for describing a new cryptic species of bush frog (Raorchestes: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from the Western Ghats, India." PloS one 11, no. 3 (2016): e0149382.
  9. Rekha Sarma, Roshmi, Madhushree Munsi, and Aravind Neelavara Ananthram. "Effect of climate change on invasion risk of giant African snail (Achatina fulica Férussac, 1821: Achatinidae) in India." PloS one 10, no. 11 (2015): e0143724.


  1. Aravind N.A. and Roshmi Rekha Sarma. (2016). “Identifying hotspots of nonmarine mollusc distribution in the Western Ghats, India”. Tentacle, 24: 41-43. Tentacle2016.
  2. Aravind N.A. and Roshmi Rekha Sarma. (2015). “Does invasion of lantana camara (verbenaceae) affect land snail diversity?Tentacle, 23: 24-26. Tentacle2015.
  3. Aravind N.A., Roshmi Rekha Sarma, Madhushree Munsi and Sandeep Sen (2014). “In search of Corilla anax (Corillidae), rare and endemic land mollusc of the Western Ghats.Tentacle, 22: 6-8. Tentacle2014.
  4. Aravind N.A., Madhushree Munsi, Roshmi Rekha Sarma (2017). “Navigating murky waters: Challenges and approaches for conservation planning of freshwater ecosystems of India.” In Transcending boundaries: Reflecting on twenty years of action and research at ATREE, Publisher: ATREE, Bangalore, Editors: Hiremath A J, ND Rai, A Siddartha, pp.80-87. Transcending Boundaries ATREE book chapter.