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:


ARC Future Fellow, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia


ARC DECRA Fellow, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia


Macquarie University Research Fellow, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia


Lecturer, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia


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


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


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


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


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


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