Dr Samia Elfekih

Research Scientist/Engineer

Contact details:

  • GPO BOX 1700


Dr Samia Elfekih obtained her PhD in genetics and molecular biology from the University of Tunis El Manar (Tunisia) in 2010. Her PhD research work was done at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the US, sponsored by a Fulbright postgraduate scholarship. After a brief visit to the department of Biology at the University of California Riverside (UCR), she moved to London to be a UNESCO-L’Oréal for Women in Science postdoctoral scientist, jointly at Imperial College and the Natural History Museum. Dr Elfekih’s main research interests have been focused on the genomics of invasive insect pests. During her postdoc at Imperial College London, her research focused on insect population genomics and the possible effects of climate change on invasive insect pests such as the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata. Her main aim, was to study the evolutionary biology of natural medfly populations and their pathway of invasion worldwide, using a marker system (RADseq) to assess nucleotide variation affecting all regions of the medfly genome and examine the possible effect of pesticide resistance on the medfly life-history traits in newly colonized sites. Dr Elfekih joined CSIRO in 2013 and was sponsored by the CSIRO Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) program, to design her own independent research project. She was particularly keen on developing ideas around the genomics of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. She has been using sophisticated genomic tools to investigate the phylogenomics of the Bemisia cryptic invasive species complex and infer their demographic history and invasion pathways. Dr Samia Elfekih is at the forefront of adapting novel genomic techniques to entomological systems.

Other Interests

Science diplomacy
Women in Science advocacy
Diversity and Inclusion policy
Humanitarian Volunteering
International development
Global Outreach

Academic Qualifications

  • 2010

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Faculté des Sciences de Tunis

  • 2005

    Master of Science Degree (M.Sc.)
    Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie

  • 2003

    Engineering diploma
    Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie

Professional Experiences

  • 2010-2011

    Visiting Scientist
    University of California Riverside

  • 2011-2013

    Postdoctoral fellow
    Imperial College London/Natural History Museum

  • 2017-2018

    Visiting Scientist/EMBO fellow
    University of Cambridge

Achievements and Awards

  • -2014

    Chairman's Medal

  • -2011

    UNESCO-L'Oreal For Women in Science
    L'Oreal foundation

  • -2008

    Fulbright fellowship
    US department of State (USA)

Other highlights

  • -2014

    Invited speaker at PAG XXII (International Plant and Animal Genome meeting), USA

  • -2015

    Invited speaker at PAG Asia, Singapore


  • 2013

    Biochemical Society travel grant

  • 2012

    Genetic Society UK, Junior scientist travel grant

  • 2012

    Korner travel grant, University of Sussex

  • 2011

    Institute of Pure & Applied Mathematics (IPAM) travel grant, UCLA

  • 2010

    Fulbright alumni development grant

  • 2009

    Royal Entomological society travel grant (UK)

  • 2017

    EMBO fellowship


We have publications by Dr Samia Elfekih
For more publications, please see Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=RpsOV_8AAAAJ&hl=en