Our ultimate goal is to make discoveries about how the natural world works and then tell the world about them! We combine behavioural ecology, genetics, and physiology to answer questions about the evolution of animals. We aim to directly contribute to conservation, or otherwise, to inspire people to conserve life by highlighting its inherent worth. We are partial to an invertebrate, we like animals with great colour patterns, we enjoy visiting beautiful places, and we’re not scared of diving into research on obscure species (for better or for worse).
We are physically based at Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury, on the edge of Blue Mountains National Park. On the Hawkesbury campus we have extensive grounds and facilities including a patch of endangered Cumberland plain woodland, modern research labs, glasshouses, apiary, orchard, and outdoor animal research facilities. We conduct field work across the country and beyond and we collaborate with researchers at universities across Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Germany, UK and Holland, just to name a few.
For details on our current projects, follow the links below.
What is Behavioural Ecology? Here is one idea. To us, it's the study of animal behaviour in a natural context, out in the field. It's often a rewarding privilege to see animals as they are. You should try it!
"On the day-long follows that I used to do with mothers and their offspring - these chimp families that I knew so well - there was hardly a day when I didn't learn something new about them."
Dr Jane Goodall
Genetics & genomics
The study of genes (genetics) and genomics (whole genomes) has exploded in the last 30 years. We use it to understand genetic connectivity and to search for genes under selection. Get amongst it!
"We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid, DNA. This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest."
Dr Rosalind Franklin
The stuff of which living organisms are comprised can do extraordinary things and allow life to persist in extreme conditions. We search for the super-powered superheroes of the living world.
"A good physiological experiment … should present anywhere, at any time, under identical conditions, the same certain and unequivocal phenomena that can always be confirmed."
Dr Johannes Peter Müller