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Lecturer of Evolutionary Genomics


Deparment of Biological Sciences

Macquarie University




My research uses wildlife models to address critical questions in ecology and evolution. Most notably, I aim to address how mutation and selection support the evolution of complex traits in animals such as the evolution of new organs. To achieve this, my research integrates genomics, developmental biology, ecology, and ecophysiology using terrestrial vertebrates. My current projects use genetic, genomic, and cell biology techniques to identify how complex components of pregnancy have evolved. This includes the evolution of placental nutrient transfer, maternal – fetal signalling, and the beneficial aspects of inflammation during pregnancy.



2021            Subject Convenor BIOL3120 Human Genetics and Evolutionary Medicine

                     Macquarie University

2020           Subject convenor BIOL1110 Genes to Organisms

Macquarie University

2019           Lecturer BIOL30001 Reproductive Physiology – University of

Melbourne (2 lectures, Placentation and Parturition)

2019           Lecturer Zool20006 Comparative Animal Physiology –

University of Melbourne (3 lectures on thermal ecology)

2018            Comparative Animal Physiology - University of Melbourne

                      - Ecophysiology and Temperature (4 lectures)

2018            Evolution: Making Sense of Life - University of Melbourne

                    (1 lecture)

2017            Comparative Anatomy - Yale University


2016            Functional Genomics Evolution - Yale University


Awards and Honours 

2016            Jabez King Heydon Memorial Prize, (Awarded to most

meritorious PhD in the previous twelve months from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney).


2014            Short Listed for the Hamilton Prize, Evolution 2014, Raleigh,

North Carolina.


2013            Finalist Post-Graduate Excellence Prize, School of

Biological Science, University of Sydney.


2012            Herpetologists League Graduate Research Prize, third

place (Oral presentation) at the 7th World Congress of Herpetology, Vancouver.


2011            Australian Society of Herpetologists Murray Little John



2020-24       Discover Project Grant, Australian Research Council,

$760 000

2018-21       Discovery Early Career Research Award, Australian

Research Council, $365 083 (AUD) The evolution of a new organ: Does spurious maternal-fetal signalling support the evolution of a placenta?

2018-21       University of Melbourne Establishment Grant, University of

Melbourne $50 000 (AUD)

2018-20       McKenzie Fellowship, University of Melbourne $ 262 270

(AUD). I withdrew from this fellowship because I was awarded the DECRA

2017-20       University of Otago, Health Sciences Postdoctoral

Fellowship $228 688 (NZD). I withdrew from this fellowship because I was awarded the DECRA

2015-17       Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Postdoctoral Fellowship,

Yale University $104 000 (USD)

2017           SMBE Registration Reimbursement Award

2016           SMBE Registration Reimbursement Award


2014            University of Sydney Graduates Union of North America

Alumni Scholarship


2014            University of Sydney Postgraduate Research Support



2014            Australian Society of Herpetologists’ student research grant

Genomic imprinting in a reptilian model


2014            EMBL Australia Symposium Grant


2012            University of Sydney Postgraduate Research Support



2012-15       University of Sydney Thompson Lab top up Scholarship



2012-15       Australian Post Graduate Award


2011            Australian Society of Herpetologists Travel Grant

Invited seminars 

2017            “Understanding implantation and implantation failure: an

evolutionary perspective”, Special seminar – Centre for Prevention of Preterm Birth, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio

2017           “Evolution of the placenta: a tale of the first contact between

mother and baby", Brooklyn College Biology seminar series, City University of New York. Brooklyn, New York.

2017           “Using marsupials to understand the origin of implantation in

live bearing mammals”, Yale Evolution and Development Symposium, Yale, West Haven, Connecticut


2017           “Immune regulation is a key innovation of eutherian mammal

pregnancy” Nano Biology Spring Seminar Series, Yale, West Haven, Connecticut

2017           “Maternal-fetal signalling and the evolution of a placenta in

reptiles and mammals” Trinity College Biology Spring Seminar Series, Hartford, Connecticut

2016            “A molecular and ecophysiology approach to understanding

the evolution of pregnancy in reptiles and mammals” – East Tennessee State University Biology’s Autumn seminar series

2016            “Innovations of pregnancy; the molecular and ecological

consequences of pregnancy in reptiles and mammals” – Yale Institute for Biospheric studies’ Autumn seminar


2014            “Parent offspring conflict and the evolution of placentae in

reptiles”, University of New South Wales – Phenotypic Variation and Evolution symposium (2014)


2014            “Complex innovations, parent offspring conflict and the

evolution of the placenta”, Yale University - Yale University West Campus Systems Biology Seminar (2014)

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