Photo of Simon Jarman

Simon Jarman

Professor, Dr

  • The University of Western Australia (M004), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 3552 Citations
  • 29 h-Index
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Personal profile


My research focuses on developing genomic methods to study populations and communities of multicellular organisms. My group developed the first test for wild animal age based on changes in DNA methylation. We applied this technology to humpback whales and I continue to work on DNA methylation age estimation in this species as well as several other whales, fish, reptiles and seabirds. We have also developed a method for estimating the maximum lifespan of a species from the density of CpG sites in promoter regions of a small set of selected genes. This allows us to tell how long a species might live for from a genome sequence. My goal with these research themes is to develop the field of "genomic population dynamics" to the point where we can estimate most of the key parameters of population biology using genomic tools. 

I have also worked extensively on DNA-based analysis of animal diet and environmental diversity of species with DNA metabarcoding technology. My research group were heavily involved in the early development of dietary DNA metabarcoding. Some highlights of this research were characterising the diets of whales, seals, penguins, whale sharks and giant squid with our new methods; identifying jellyfish as a major food item for seabirds; and developing the molecular methods and conceptual frameworks that made this area a useful research method. My environmental DNA research has investigated species diversity and presence from the poles to the tropics.

In 2020 I will commence teaching a level 4/5 unit on "Environmental DNA sequencing" (BIOL4410) in the School of Biological Sciences at UWA. I will also teach ENVT3307, ANIM3361 and contribute to ANIM2200.

Education/Academic qualification

Genetics, PhD, University of Tasmania

Genetics, BSc(Hons) Genetics, University of Aberdeen

External positions

Affiliate, CSIRO Environomics Future Science Platform, CSIRO

Associate Editor, Methods in Ecology and Evolution


  • Animal age
  • Epigenetics
  • Genetics
  • Environmental DNA
  • DNA metabarcoding
  • Animal diet
  • Molecular ecology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Simon Jarman is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

DNA Earth & Environmental Sciences
krill Agriculture & Biology
Euphausiacea Medicine & Life Sciences
Euphausia superba Agriculture & Biology
diet Earth & Environmental Sciences
Diet Medicine & Life Sciences
feces Earth & Environmental Sciences
whale Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1999 2019

Advancing the integration of multi-marker metabarcoding data in dietary analysis of trophic generalists

da Silva, L. P., Mata, V. A., Lopes, P. B., Pereira, P., Jarman, S. N., Lopes, R. J. & Beja, P., 22 Jul 2019, In : Molecular Ecology Resources.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
5 Citations (Scopus)

Age estimation in a long-lived seabird (Ardenna tenuirostris) using DNA methylation-based biomarkers

De Paoli-Iseppi, R., Deagle, B. E., Polanowski, A. M., McMahon, C. R., Dickinson, J. L., Hindell, M. A. & Jarman, S. N., 1 Mar 2019, In : Molecular Ecology Resources. 19, 2, p. 411-425 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DNA methylation
DNA Methylation

A genomic predictor of lifespan in vertebrates

Mayne, B., Berry, O., Davies, C., Farley, J. & Jarman, S., 12 Dec 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 10 p., 17866.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
DNA Methylation

Development and validation of an environmental DNA test for the endangered Gouldian finch

Day, K., Campbell, H., Fisher, A., Gibb, K., Hill, B., Rose, A. & Jarman, S. N., 2019, In : Endangered Species Research. 40, p. 171-182 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

DNA metabarcoding assays reveal a diverse prey assemblage for Mobula rays in the Bohol Sea, Philippines

Bessey, C., Jarman, S. N., Stat, M., Rohner, C. A., Bunce, M., Koziol, A., Power, M., Rambahiniarison, J. M., Ponzo, A., Richardson, A. J. & Berry, O., Mar 2019, In : Ecology and Evolution. 9, 5, p. 2459-2474 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Projects 2019 2020

Press / Media

'Clock' predicting animal life spans created from analyzing DNA

Simon Jarman


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

DNA may hold clues to extinct animal lifespan

Simon Jarman


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Rare bird’s detection highlights promise of ‘environmental DNA’

Simon Jarman


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media