Elizabeth is interested in using molecular approaches to address issues in evolutionary biology and conservation including the application of genetic data for conservation and management of threatened and endangered species, comparative phylogeography (examining patterns of genetic variation across landscapes and explaining them in terms of gene flow, distribution, landscape, and historical events), and molecular systematics. She has been involved in conservation genetics research in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems, including a range of vertebrates (marsupials, carnivores, lizards), freshwater crayfish, and plants species. This gives her a unique perspective in understanding connectivity and the importance of conserving individual species and ecosystems.
Since 2008, she has been researching patterns of genetic diversity and connectivity at different spatial scales in temperate Australian seagrasses (Posidonia spp.), from clonal diversity, mating systems, population genetics, long distance dispersal and recruitment. Genetic patterns are interpreted using a multidisciplinary approach – oceanography, regional hydrodynamic spatial modeling, and life history traits (pollen and seed dispersal and recruitment). This research contributes to an understanding of the processes impacting on marine connectivity across the Australian continental shelf ecosystems and makes an important contribution to the development of benthic biodiversity conservation planning and restoration practices.