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 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.
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.
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 the development of disease treatments for honeybees based on nano-sized
drug formulations. Several drug candidates are being investigated as treatment for
Nosema apis to test the potency of the drugs as well as the benefits
Nanotechnology, Drug formulation, Drug nano-sizing and characterisation, Drug development
I study how external stressors such as pesticides or different parasites affect the health of honeybee colonies
and whether they could eventually lead to colony collapse. To do this, I expose honeybees to different stressors and
measure their effects on colony health and performance. I am also interested to see how colonies
respond when they are confronted with multiple stressors at the same time.
I use the honeybee Apis mellifera as a model system to search for the cellular mechanisms that must underlie
magnetorecpetion in bees, basically a type of biological GPS that allows bees to navigate short or long distances. To do this
I use the latest available microscopic technologies available at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis
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.
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.
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 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.
I investigate how efficient the honeybee immune system is in recognising and killing bee
pathogens. To do this, I expose the the fungal disease Nosema apis to immune molecules
collected from honeybees and study whether they are killing the spores efficiently enough to
inhibit further transmission.
Host Parasit Interactions, Field work, Flow cytometry
I am interested to unravel what molecules and biochemical pathways are involved to make a sperm more
or less competitive during the sperm storage process inside the honeybee queens sexual tract.
To do this, I provide sperm with key metabolites that activate biochemical pathways that were
identified in sperm and seminal fluid by earlier studies at CIBER.
Sperm viability, Sperm competition, Sperm storage success, Sexual selection
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 involved in experimental field work to undertand the effects of pesticide exposure on
honeybee health. TO do this I spend a lot of my time with the CIBER bees in the field, observing
their behaviour and monitoring their well being.
Honeybee field work, beekeeping, behavioural work, botany and taxonomic botany
Honeybee industry representative
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