Skip to main content


Dawn is a Woolwonga woman and great-granddaughter of Nelly “Shotgun” Flynn of Rum Jungle. Following her undergraduate studies in archaeology and genetics including first class honours in historic DNA of Sydney sheep, Dawn undertook a Masters of Science in Archaeological Science at the University of Oxford with full scholarship from the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Foundation. She is currently studying towards a PhD in Indigenous Genomics at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, her supervisors are Bastien Llamas (primary), Vilma Perez, Alex Brown and Azure Hermes.

Thesis Title: “Archaeological Indigenous Genomics”

DNA can be extracted from ancient sediments of archaeological layers (also called horizons or strata), we call this type of DNA “sedimentary ancient DNA” (sedaDNA). Using this DNA  we can identify the presence of humans, plants, animal and microbes that lived prior to the invasion of Australia and in to ancient times. This can allow us reconstruct local environments and help us understand our ancestors. Traditional Knowledge is extremely important in understanding how to interpret sedaDNA and so ensuring Traditional Owners are at the forefront of the research is integral to Dawn’s work.

Stay connected

We welcome you to join our network! We'll send you quarterly newsletters to let you know about our activities and how we are progressing!