The evolution of Fijian bees
Could past climate cycles explain the cryptic bee diversity found in Fiji and if so, how? This is the question that my supervisors and I are currently tackling at Flinders University, South Australia. The project involves a three month field trip to Fiji, a whole bunch of hiking, genetic analysis and a touch of taxonomy. The results are yet to be published.
Mantispid biology: Drepanicine
Often misidentified as praying mantis, mantispids are actually a type of lacewing (Neuroptera). Lacewings are of interest to gardeners as one of the "good guys"; this is because they are a predatory insect in both their larval and adult stages often attacking other insect pests such as aphids. While much is known of more common Neuroptera such as the lacewings, mantispids are poorly studied and so poorly understood. Very little is known about their life-cycles or biology. What began as me photographing these lovely animals in an unusual mass emergence has turned into a publication that is you can view and read here.
Bee book and trip
A 3.5 month trip around Australia in 2015/16 to collect and photograph as many native bee species as I could manage will result in a photo book with written contributions from many of Australia's leading bee researchers. The book will see print in the next year or two so keep your eyes on the shelves! In the mean time feel free to check out the short blog that I kept for my friend's and family while on the trip.