I am interested in the study of evolutionary processes such as sexual selection or immune response on the molecular/protein scale. To do this I
use several social insects as model species and biochemical technologies such as proteomics.
Sociobiology, Evolutionary biology, Sexual selection,Proteomics
I am interested in improving the interaction between science and honeybee related industries.
My particular passion is in bee breeding and disease management.
As apiary manager I am responsible for maintenance and breeding of our honeybee colonies to support
the myriad experiments being undertaken by our team.
I am interested in social insect reproduction and immunity and responsible for running the CIBER honeybee lab.
I have also worked on the realisation of the movie "More than Honey" and I am currently running the
More than Honey Blog.
My research focuses on proteomics and the use of mass spectrometry to understand metabolic networks
in a range of species. In CIBER I provide the background and experimental design for honeybee proteomic
projects and work to increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that influence
reproductive success and disease resistance.
Proteomics, Mass spectrometry, Functional genomics
My research focuses on how variation in reproductive success influences the evolution of behaviour,
morphology, and physiology. I am particularly interested in life-history trade-offs between male
fertility and immunity, and how female mating behaviour promotes fitness through mechanisms of sperm
competition and selective sperm use.
I am an economist interested in the economics of beekeeping and the role of bees in plant
pollination and food production. At CIBER I am supervising research projects that
focuses on the link between evolution by natural selection and economic growth.
My research interests focus on the coevolution and ecology of host-parasite interactions. In particular,
I am interested to understand strategies of host defences and the dynamics of infectious diseases in social insects.
I am interested in sexual selection and social insect mating biology and focus mainly on post-copulatory processes such as sperm competition and cryptic female choice, using honeybees and leafcutter ants as model species. Currently, I use techniques such as artificial insemination, fluorescence microscopy and proteomics to examine the interactions between male and female reproductive fluids and sperm.
Evolutionary biology, Sexual selection, Sperm competition, Cryptic female choice,
Social insect biology
In spite of their similar social structure, the termites have evolved
very different dynamics between male and female reproductives compared
to the ants and bees. I will be utilizing techniques developed at
CIBER to study reproductive characteristics of termite queens and
kings over their lifetimes, which will result in a broader
understanding of the evolution of mating systems and societies.
Epigenetic modifications can underpin the temporal and spatial interpretation of complex
genomes to produce different phenotypes. In the honeybee (Apis mellifera), fertilised
eggs develop into either workers or queens. Recent findings suggest that DNA methylation
may play a role in the selection between worker and
queen developmental trajectories. I am using next generation sequencing (NGS)
to examine changes in the epigenome that occur throughout honeybee development
and caste selection.
Molecular Biology, Epigenetics, Next generation sequencing
I analyse protein samples of honeybees and other social insects on protein gels and by using
a variety of different mass spectrometers. I specialize in quantitative proteomics and
mass spectrometry, and apply this to identify immunopeptides in the haemolymph and
seminal fluid of honeybees.
Proteomics, Mass Spectrometry, Peptidomics, SDS PAGE gel, DIGE
I am interested to understand how the honeybee immune system operates on the molecular level.
To do this I use proteomics as well as field-based experiments. I am specifically interested to
understand how differences in immune proteins between individuals or colonies translates into
differences in parasite resistance.
I am interested in how human-associated environmental changes such as habitat fragmentation,
climate change, and introduced species affect insect-plant interactions, especially pollination.
I am currently investigating how one of the most common honeybee diseases in the world affects
the ability of bees to pollinate. I am also investigating the distribution of native and honey bees
in urban bushland fragments and the role each has in pollinating native and non-native plants.
Community ecology, Pollination, Biological invasions, Insect-Plant interactions
I investigate whether there are any microorganisms transmitted from the male to the female as
part of the ejaculate. I want to use proteomics to identify these potential sexually transmitted diseases and to
perform field experiments afterwards to test whether a vertical transmission transfer really occurs in the bees.
My research is focused on male reproductive success where I look at postcopulatory sexual selection
in the form of variation in sperm storage, fertilization probability and offspring viability
in multiply mated social insects such as honeybees and leaf cutting ants.
I am interested whether Darwinian evolutionary dynamics in human populations played a role in the
emergence of today's economic systems. To do this I use modelling approaches in combination with
data available on human income, assets and fertility around the onset of industrialisation, when
several human populations left the Malthusian trap.
Economics, Modelling, Mathusian trap, Population biology
I am interested in the identification and characterisation of an iron based magnetoreceptors in
higher animals in an effort to understand homing behaviour. Using the honeybee as a model system,
I will use a low to high resolution approach, using techniques such as ICP-AES iron analysis,
SQUID magnetometry, magnetic resonance imaging, light microscopy, confocal microscopy and electron
microscopy in order to locate cells potentially responsible for the detection of the Earth’s
magnetic field. My work is done in collaboration with
Biomineralisation, Magnetoreception, Electron microscopy, Cryo preparation
I am interested in the identification of cellulose-degrading bacteria in termite guts. There is a great
interest in this field currently due to its potential application in the production of cleaner,
renewable sources of energy, such as biofuels.To do this, I culture the gut bacteria of two local
termite species and use metagenomics to sequence the microbial population in the gut, in the hopes of finding
novel cellulase genes.
I am interested in developing a technique to observe sperm cells on freshly laid honeybee eggs.
With this technique I will be able to study queen fertility by understanding the effects of,
for example, queen age and male quality on the number of eggs used for each egg fertilization.
As a commercial beekeeper, I am interested in honeybee breeding and queen rearing. Of particular
interest is the use of instrumental insemination to accelerate improvement in economically significant genetic traits,
especially in disease tolerance. I use artificial insemination techniques to generate new bee genotypes, for example by
increasing genetic variability in managed stock and to test these bees performance under commercial conditions.
I am interested whether there are differences in immunity or fertility between feral and
managed honeybees. To do this I conduct experiments using the CIBER bee yards and
study the behaviour of workers and males in the field. My work could be important to guide
future bee breeding.
Feral bees, Field based honeybee experiments, Immunity, Sperm viability
German Exchange student
Termites have an extremely high degree of developmental plasticity and an individual has
the potential to change its caste during its lifetime, depending on the environment within
the colony. I am using RNAi to explore how epigenetics, the differential regulation of
particular parts of an individual's genome, operates in termites and how genes
influence a termite's developmental fate.
Termite Biology, Epigenetics, Termite field work
My project involves exploring the subjective reality of the honeybee from an artistic
perspective. I am interested in attempting to communicate with honeybees and exploring
the barriers and challenges of making meaningful exchanges across species boundaries.
To do this I offer honeybee workers up to 100 honey bait stations that differ in colour and
use photographs to document their choice and their response when I start to manipulate he bait stations.
This project is run in collaboration with SymbioticA
Interspecies collaboration in art, Painting, Drawing
I investigate the effect of bee diseases on pollination behaviour.
To do this, I adopted a sensor- tagging system which monitors the bees’
activity over their lifespan. This technique provides me with data on the foraging
behavior of individual bees and I will be able to compare differences in infected and
non-infected bees. My work is done in collaboration with Lori Larch.
My work is focused on public engagement with honeybees. I am also interested in alternative hive
architecture and the aesthetics of urban beekeeping. As part of my work I design logos,
posters and labels for the CIBER group. To see some of my work
click here. My projects are run in collaboration with
Graphic Design, information design, illustration, photography, honeybee fieldwork
I am interested to study to understand honeybees a little architects, especially the relationship
between human and insect building and the potential to hybridise and/or restructure bee building behaviour.
My aim is to make bees build novel designs and to re-create or modify human designed structures.
I am an independent sculptor and sound-artist and the director of a small multidisciplinary team Sonic Objects; Sonic Architecture
I coordinate the Western Australian Bee-breeding Program known as
Better Bees that aims to maintain high quality bees
for the Western Australian beekeeping industry. In an annual breeding program on Rottnest Island we
ensure the successful continuation of our 24 lines of honey bees.
Honeybees from these lineages are used for scientific experiments running at CIBER.
I am a commercial apiarist operating 800 honeybee colonies. I have 35 years of experience in bee
breeding, industry knowledge and involvement
Research Officer, Department of Agriculture and Food
I am performing research to understand honeybee nutrition in order to improve beekeeping. I maintain
close links to the Australian bee industry and I am involved in collaborative research between CIBER
and the Department of Agriculture and Food on honeybee disease
I directed a documentary about honeybees with the title "More than Honey"
The movie provides fascinating visual insights into the life of a honeybee colony. The movie is currently
shown in movie theatres and at movie festivals around the world.
Screenplay, Dramaturgy, High speed and macro filming, Digital postproduction
I am interested in combining the different perspectives of art and science. To do this, I explore
interactions between humans and both native bees as well as feral honeybees, and study the ecological
importance of that relationship as well as the places where such interactions occur.
Ecological art, Cross cultural and interspecies relationships