My research generally explores the innate differences between males and females and how the environment, both social and ecological, modifies these differences. I’m also interested in how individuals maximize fitness in what seems to be a chaotic and unpredictable world. I’m fascinated by how individuals use the information available during development to best make allocation decisions across suites of traits to best succeed in a future environment.
I have also started collaborating with Tom Denson in Psychology in an exciting new direction where we are exploring how our evolutionary history can explain gender differences in gaming preferences and habits.
Drop me a line if you’re interested in what we’re doing or if you’d like to become a part of the team. We’re always looking for new folks to join the lab.
I am a ARC DECRA fellow. My research interest is the evolution, plasticity and biomechanics of extended phenotypes. I use spider webs and silk as models to understand how prey, nutrients, and climatic variables induce variations at nano- to macro-scales. I am also interested in exploring the biomimetic potential of spider silk variability. I have ongoing collaborative research links with the University of Akron, USA, Tunghai University, Taiwan, the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Taiwan, and the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre at UNSW.
Greater details on the project can be found on the Spider Silk Project website!
I am also looking for a PhD student to work on the genetics/biochemical basis of spider silk property variability. If interested please contact me.
Can you imagine a world without beer? Or pizza? That’s what our lab would be like without Heather.
Heather ensures the lab functions at top form and is the curator of the wonderful projects that come out of this lab. If it wasn’t for her organization, amazing ability to navigate the administrative system, and amazing ability to make sense of the nonsensical information I gave her, I’m pretty sure we’d get nothing done.
Although Maddie is a PhD student from Berkeley working with Bree Rosenblum, we get the opportunity to work with Maddie for 4-6 months of the year while she vists Sydney. We’re her home away from home.
Maddie works on the evolution of complex signals, working on one of the most awesome animals alive: peacock spiders. Although Maddie makes collecting and working on peacock spiders easy, I would have given up long ago given how difficult they are to find and work with.
If there is anyone that can gain insight into complex signalling using peacock spiders, it’s Maddie!
Hamish is working on exploring the variation in spider silk proteins and their relationship with different ecological, physiological and mechanical factors. He’s even going to work on exploring how gene expression plays a role — talk about an ambitious project! Hamish is just finishing a meta-analysis which everyone really liked at the latest arachnology conference he attended.
Stay tuned for more.
Shadow is a composite of all the artists and coders that make this site possible.
Christopher (aka @achebit) is a top notch musician, pixel artist, and game developer, all while being a professional cat wrangler. To be honest, it’s amazing he can do all these things while maintaining control of this many cats. I mean, look at them all!
He’s responsible for all the phenomenal pixel art on this site, as well as for the deflated egos that will no doubt occur as the entire research team tries to live up to their pixelated avatar standards!
Jerry is a student in the information systems faculty at UNSW and the nimble fingers behind all the short and long code that made this site so beautiful. He tweaked this site in only a few hours, demonstrating his skill. His dream of one day handing out Apple watches to the masses is closer in his grasp each day.
Thanks to him, the truth we uncover will be available for all to see. All while looking visually stunning!
Savanna is an amazing graphic artist who drew the most awesome pictures for my kids when she so kindly offered to babysit for us. I somehow convinced her that I’m worth her talent and time and she’ll be populating the site with some absolutely jaw dropping artwork.
Take a look at her site, I mean, she’s so good she can make even my science look fun and interesting!