Researcher biography

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Vector Biology Lab in the School of the Environment. The main focus of my research is on the population genomics of Anopheles malaria vectors from Australia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. I am interested in understanding genetic and environmental processes that have resulted speciation in and the strong population structure observed in these mosquitoes. Some populations of these mosquitoes also do not feed on humans and this trait of zoophiliy has evolved at least twice in the species complex that is the focus of my research. During my PhD I compared the evolution of chemosensory genes that may influence this behavioural difference and I am currently expanding on this reseach using population genomic comparisons and whole genome scans. Another current focus of mine is working as a part of a team on a project aimed at developing a gene drive in Anopheles farauti (a primary malaria vector from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands) which is refractory to malaria.