Researcher biography

The study of insect abundance and distribution.

I am an insect ecologist by "bent" and my students and I work on various applied and basic research areas. We generally take an individuals-process based approach to the study of insect abundance and distribution. We use various "model" systems to ask questions ranging from the effect of host chemistry on oviposition behaviour and early stage caterpillar survival, to the effects of learning on oviposition behaviour at a landscape level and the effects of climate on insect abundance. I prefer to work on Butterfly-plant interactions, particularly Monarchs and milkweeds.

A substantial amount of our applied research has been on the ecology and biology of Helicoverpa spp, the major pest of Australian field crops, and more recently Diamondback moth, a key pest of horticulture.