I’m a lecturer in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne. I mostly study the evolution and genetics of sex, sociality and communication. I combine empirical work on insects such as Drosophila and social Hymenoptera (bees/ants/wasps) with theoretical models, ‘omics, meta-analysis, and text mining. I am a handling editor for Behavioral Ecology, and the Reviews Editor for Journal of Evolutionary Biology. I’m a big fan of open and reproducible science, and so I often write detailed reports like this to help share my methods.
Senior lecturer, 2016-present
University of Melbourne
DECRA fellow and postdoc, 2011-2016
Australian National University
Marie Curie Fellow and postdoc, 2008-2011
University of Copenhagen
BSc and PhD, 2000-2007
University of Sheffield
Research on the identity, mode of action, and evolution of social insect queen pheromones
Research about science itself: research practice, bias, reproducibility, and culture. Mostly text mining.
Population genetic consequences of sexual selection, honest signalling, sperm biology, etc.
The causes, consequences, and genetic basis of the maladaptation that arises when males and females share a genome.
Using text mining to help redress gender inequality in the STEM workforce.
Daisy is investigating social insect queen pheromones, using experiments with honey bees and Drosophila (which, remarkably, shows a similar response to honey bee queen pheromone as a worker bee).
Heidi runs my Drosophila team, and focuses on sexual conflict, gene drives, and more.
Tarli is working on her honours project about social immunity and chemical recognition in honeybees.
For his MSc thesis Tom used experiments with Drosophila to test whether the effects of mitochondrial DNA on males are truly invisible to selection (spoiler: not if there’s kin selection!). Tom is currently writing up his MSc work, and is about to start his PhD.
Dan found that polyandry helps beetles colonise new habitats, and tested how well sexual selection clears harmful mutations from the gene pool.
Frances used experimental evolution to show that sexual selection can affect the evolution of insecticide resistance. We also used quantitative genetics to test whether the gender load diminishes under environmental stress.
Justin and I looked at whether sexual selection has a net positive or negative effect on the fitness of populations, using meta-analysis and comparative analysis.