Our projects

Dr Kara Dicks

WildGenes Research Scientist

Research Interests

Kara has a background in evolutionary and conservation genetics, and wildlife DNA forensics. Her previous work has included studying the evolution of immune genes in wild Soay sheep, using genetics to identify which species of plants are present within a mixture, and validating a forensic test to identify individual rhinoceros horns within illegal wildlife trade. Currently, Kara is working on understanding the genetic diversity within ungulates which thrive in arid landscapes. This work aims to inform conservation management of these species in captivity as well as in reintroduced populations.


PhD (University of Edinburgh, UK) Evolutionary Biology
MPhil (University of Chester, UK) Conservation Genetics and Wildlife Forensics
MRes (University of York, UK) Ecology and Environmental management
BSc hons (Cardiff University) Zoology

Other Positions

Research assistant at Queen’s University Belfast working on various molecular ecology and food fraud projects, including developing a DNA test using a hand-held sequencer (Nanopore MinION) for detecting adulterants in supermarket herbs.

Professional intern at the International Union for Conservation of Nature with the Red List team working on assessing the most threatened conifer species for classification under the Alliance for Zero Extinction.

Research assistant at Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (The Scottish Government) assisting with development of wildlife forensic tests for rhinoceros species.


For all of Kara’s publications, please visit her Google Scholar page