Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology
My research focuses on the evolution and ecology of phenotypic plasticity, particularly in reproductive strategies. When is plasticity adaptive, how does it evolve in different environments, and does it allow populations to track or adapt to changing environments? Topics of interest include the annual timing of reproduction in response to climate, division of resources among sons and daughters, temperature-dependent embryonic development, thermal biology under different climates, and alterations in behavior and reproduction under parasitic infection. I employ theoretical and empirical approaches to explore these questions, and focus on vertebrate study organisms. My main research foci are in the study of sex allocation in mammals, temperature-dependent sex determination and thermal biology.
Currently, I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
After many long hours of work, we have produced a huge database and review of developmental plasticity in response to incubation temperature in reptiles - the paper, led masterfully by Dan Noble has been accepted by Biological Reviews.
24 May 2016
Did you know parental temperature can influence the growth and survival of hatchling lizards? Watch for my new paper in J Experimental Biology!
23 December 2015
Maria Boyle's final thesis chapter will be published in Ecological Modelling
19 December 2015
Our novel hypothesis for the evolution of environmental sex determination is accepted at Evolution
13 December 2015
Wallaby cross-fostering is hard! Soon to be explained in PLoS ONE.
20 August 2015
Jen Halstead's work on jacky dragon basking behaviour has been accepted and is available online early!
12 November 2014
Geckos are ruled by air temperature, as described by Cheng Tan in the AWMS newsletter
10 July 2014
Check out all of the great press that Maria Boyle's recent paper has gotten from BBC Nature and BMC Ecology. Also, read my blog about the research!
3 May 2013
Popular press on our wallaby research by Science Network Western Australia!