Current Projects

PhD - Drivers of speciation in Homalictus: past climate cycles provide an alternative to the ‘Taxon Cycle’ in island biogeography theory

How has the species diversity of the native Fijian and Australian bee genus, Homalictus arisen? How do different climates impact the distribution and species richness of different native bee genera? These are some of the questions that I will answer using phylogenetics, ecology and zoology over the next few years of my PhD.


Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences paper

Revision of the Fijian Homalictus

Origin and dispersal of Homalictus

Climate and physiology of native and introduced Fijian bees

Australian native bee research

I am involved in several projects aimed at broadening our understanding of the Australian native bee fauna. Some of my current Australian native bee projects aim to examine: (i) which species in Australia have been severely impacted by the last bushfire season, (ii) the occurrence and extent of low-light-adapted bee species and (iii) the collection of rare bee species.

Some completed research can be found below.

Revision of the teddybear bees – Amegilla (Asaropoda)

Revision of the Leioproctus (Colletellus) 

Morphometrics of low-light bees 

The rediscovery of the Australia cloaked bee after almost 100 years

Bees of Australia: A Photographic Exploration 

A  3.5 month trip around Australia in 2015/16 to collect and photograph as many native bee species as I could manage has resulted in a photo book with written contributions from many of Australia's leading bee researchers. The book was released with CSIRO Publishing October 2018! You can also check out the short blog that I kept for my friend's and family while on the trip. Order your copy from CSIRO now by clicking here!

Bachelor of Science (Honours) - 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 at Flinders University and the South Australian Museum asked in 2017. The project involved a three month field trip to Fiji, a whole bunch of hiking, genetic analysis and a touch of taxonomy. The results are presently being published.

Miscellaneous projects

Evolutionary projects

Evolution: Dampening the Cambrian Explosion

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.

Moulting Mantispid - Ditaxis meridiei

Native Fijian bee - Homalictus fijiensis

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