I design, perform and analyse empirical experiments investigating processes of collective behaviour, optimisation, problem-solving and decision-making in self-organised biological systems. My biological models of choice are ant colonies and the plasmodial slime mould Physarum polycephalum. Prior to my PhD, I developed skills in microscopic visualisation such as histology, SEM, TEM, second-harmonic generation imaging and confocal microscopy, as well as molecular techniques such as real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR. During and since my PhD, I have developed skills in designing, performing and analysing empirical biological experiments, including automated video tracking, time-lapse imaging, macroscopic cell culture, neotropical ant field work, designing and making 3D-printed apparatus for behavioural experiments and the use of associated software and hardware. I am also fluent in the statistical analyses and tools required for my data and the use of statistical software (especially SPSS, JMP and R). I have experience in managing an ethological laboratory, including maintenance of supplies, design and construction of equipment and managing/mentoring students from undergraduate to postgraduate level.

I am also expert at turning over rocks to see what lives underneath (it’s pretty much my favourite thing to do).

Academic Career:

2019-2022

ARC DECRA Fellow, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia

2017-2019

Macquarie University Research Fellow, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia

mid2016-mid2017

Lecturer, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia

2015-mid2016

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Insect Behaviour and Ecology Lab, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

2013-2015

Postdoctoral Research Associate, The SwarmLab, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, USA

2009-2012

PhD Student; Mechanisms of Optimisation and Problem-Solving in Distributed Natural Systems, Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

2007-2008

Research Assistant, Nucleic Acid Analytical Technology, Johnson and Johnson Research, Level 4, 1 Central Avenue, Eveleigh, Sydney, Australia

2007

Bachelor of Science (Advanced) with Honours (Advanced) in Biophysics, First Class; A Multi Modality Imaging Study of the Supra-Molecular Changes to Collagen Induced by Breast Cancer University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

2003-2006

Bachelor of Science (Advanced), Biochemistry major, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

 

Teaching Experience: 

2017: Convenor and lecturer for first year undergraduate introductory biology course Organisms to Ecosystems, MQ

2015: Lecturer and course coordinator for second year undergraduate Agricultural Entomology, USYD

2013-2014: Lecturer for second – fourth year undergraduate Collective Behavior, NJIT

2012: Demonstrator for second year undergraduate Entomology, USYD

2009-2012: Demonstrator for first year undergraduate Concepts in Biology and Living Systems, USYD

2009-2012: Demonstrator for third year undergraduate Evolutionary Genetics and Animal Behaviour, USYD

2006: Resident Fellow, Austin College, University of New England

2006: Demonstrator for first year undergraduate Biophysics, UNE

 

For more details such as mentorship, reviewing and society memberships, please see my downlodable CV