I am a recent PhD graduand from the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. I am interested in a wide range of topics within evolutionary biology including; chemical communication, ageing, trait integration, sex-role reversal and sexual selection amongst many others! For my PhD in the Bonduriansky lab I used the neriid fly Telostylinus angusticollis to empircally investigate numerous environmental effects on reproductive allocation.
I completed my MSc under the supervision of Professor Gregory Holwell at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. I investigated the courtship and aggressive behaviours, and allometry of an unstudied species of fly, Scordalus femoratus (Helosciomyzidae), along with the community ecology of native carrion flies in the Waitakere ranges. I have a keen interest in insects (particularly flies) but am willing to work with anything if the organism suits the question!
I am currently working on a number of projects with Professor Russell Bonduriansky and more recently, Professor John Hunt using the decorated cricket Gryllodes sigillatus. I am also a reviewing editor for the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
PhD in Evolutionary Ecology, 2020
University of New South Wales
MSc in Evolutionary Ecology, 2014
University of Auckland
BSc in Biological Sciences, 2012
University of Auckland
The spectacular diversity of insect male genitalia, and their relative insensitivity to the environment, have long puzzled evolutionary biologists and taxonomists. We asked whether the unusual evolvability of male genitalia could be associated with low morphological integration of genitalic traits, by comparison with male somatic traits and female traits. We also asked whether this pattern was robust to variation in resource availability during development, which affects adult condition. To address these questions, we manipulated larval diet quality in a split-brood design and compared levels of integration of male and female genitalic and somatic traits in the neriid fly, Telostylinus angusticollis. We found that male genitalic traits were substantially less integrated than male somatic traits, and less integrated than female genitalic traits. Female genitalic traits were also less integrated than female somatic traits, but the difference was less pronounced than in males. However, integration of male genitalic traits was negatively condition-dependent, with high-condition males exhibiting lower trait integration than low-condition males. Finally, genitalic traits exhibited lower larval diet × family interactions than somatic traits. These results could help explain the unusually high evolvability of male genitalic traits in insects.