Researcher Profiles

Researcher Profiles

The School of Biological Sciences researchers include academic staff, research associates, PhD and Masters research students and honours students, as well as a range of collaborators in other institutions.  A list of researchers and their areas of interest can be found below. More detailed information can by found by following the link to the individual profile pages.


David AyreDavid Ayre

  • Evolutionary consequences of variation in the mating systems of terrestrial plants
  • Population genetics and marine ecology of invertebrates and fish
  • Behavioural Ecology - especially pollinator behaviour and behaviour of marine invertebrates

Ross Bradstock thumbRoss Bradstock

  •  Fire ecology
  • Conservation biology
  • Landscape ecology
  • Climate change

Andy DavisAndy Davis

  • Ecology of invertebrate larvae
  • Chemical ecology
  • Defensive strategies in marine invertebrates
  • Human impacts on natural systems, including the impact of introduced marine pests
  • Structure and dynamics of invertebrate assemblages
  • Pattern and determinants of biodiversity

Mark Dowton School StaffMark Dowton

  • Mitochondrial genome biology
  • Recombination in mitochondria
  • Evolutionary relationships among Hymenoptera
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Mitochondrial gene rearrangements
  • Molecular diagnostics of forensically important insects

Kris French 235xKristine French

  • How anthropogenic disturbances interrupt populations and communities
  • How weed invasion influences community properties
  • What features of a weed are critical to the process of invasion
  • Changes in communities in cities as a result of urbanisation and in plantations

Brett Garner 2013Brett Garner 

  • Lipid homeostasis in the brain
  • Apolipoprotein structure and function
  • Lysosome biology and vitamin B12 transport
  • ATP-binding cassette transporter function in the brain
  • Therapeutic targeting sphingolipid metabolism
  • Oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation
  • Ageing, Neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease

Barry Osmond 2011Barry Osmond

  • Relationships between the two reversible processes of photoprotection and photoinactivation
  • Environmental plant physiology and ecology
  • The interaction of strong light with high temperature, water and nutritional stresses
  • Remote sensing in canopies

Marie RansonMarie Ranson 

  • The urokinase plasminogen activation system in tumour invasion and metastasis
  • Structure-function relationships of the urokinase inhibitor PAI-2/serpinB2, its biological role/s in cancer, and use in anti-urokinase targeted therapies
  • Development and preclinical testing of new small molecule anti-cancer drugs
  • Improvements in 5-fluorouracil formulations with less side effects and better cost-effectiveness
  • The plasminogen activation system in streptococcal infection

Sharon Robinson Profile PhotoSharon Robinson 

  • Ecosystem response to Climate Change in Antarctica
  • How plants cope with extreme temperatures
  • Remote sensing of plants and plant stress
  • How do thermoregulatory plants heat their flowers?

Mark WilsonMark Wilson

  • Extracellular chaperones
  • Extracellular protein homeostasis (proteostasis)
  • Motor Neurone Disease (MND)
  • Cellular analyses (e.g. flow cytometry, confocal microscopy) 

Associate Professors

Heath Ecroyd 2011Heath Ecroyd

  • Proteostasis and the role of the small heat shock family of molecular chaperones in this process
  • The structure-function relationship of small heat shock proteins
  • Protein aggregation and its association with diseases such as Parkinson’s disease
  • The mechanism by which proteins aggregate and ways in which it can be prevented

Todd MinchintonTodd Minchinton

  • Population and community ecology of benthic invertebrates, insects, and plants in coastal terrestrial, marine, and estuarine habitats
  • Importance of dispersal, habitat selection, and colonisation (i.e., recruitment) to the structure and dynamics of populations and communities
  • Influence of natural and anthropogenic disturbance on recruitment, population dynamics, and species diversity
  • Predicting how humans will destroy the planet and developing conservation strategies to avoid this

Ron SluyterRon Sluyter 

  • Inflammation and neuroinflammation
  • Immunology
  • Haematology
  • P2X receptors and purinergic signalling
  • Human and canine biology

James WallmanJames Wallman

  • Evolution and biology of Diptera, especially Calliphoridae
  • Forensic entomology


Senior Lecturers 

Phillip ByrnePhillip Byrne 

  • Evolutionary biology
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Anthropogenic impacts on animal behaviour
  • Amphibian ecology

Tracey Kuit ThumbTracey Kuit

  • Mycoplasma pathogenicity
  • Science education

Katarina Mikac

Katarina Mikac 

  • Biosecurity/Quarantine Entomology
  • Population genetics and DNA diagnostics
  • Wildlife genetics
  • Ecology of threatened mammals 

Lezanne OoiLezanne Ooi 

  • Regenerative medicine: Use of induced pluripotent stem cells in disease modelling and drug discovery
  • Global control of gene expression and protein function: transcriptional regulation and epigenetics
  • Neurodegenerative disease: effects of inflammation and oxidative stress on neuronal function. Identification of neuroprotective genes

Marion WongMarian Wong

  • Behavioural ecology of marine and freshwater fishes
  • Conservation biology of marine and freshwater fishes
  • Tropical and temperate fish ecology, life history and physiology

Ren ZhangRen Zhang 

  • Mechanism of heavy metal resistance
  • Environmental biotechnology 
  • Bioinformatics
  • Regulation of plant development 


Senior Research Fellows

Andrew JennerAndrew Jenner

  • Molecular mechanisms of reactive species damage in degenerative disease
  • Understanding the influence of diet, particularly antioxidants, iron and fat

Owen PriceOwen Price

  • Bushfire Risk management
  • Landscape ecology
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Conservation Biology

Justin Yerbury thumb 2013Justin Yerbury

  • Protein misfolding, aggregation and neurodegenerative disease
  • Protein aggregation and neuro-inflammation
  • Propagation of protein misfolding
  • Protein homeostasis and Motor Neurone Disease 

Research Fellows

Dr Hamish ClarkeHamish Clarke

  • Bushfire risk
  • Climate change impacts
  • Environmental management 

Martin EngelMartin Engel 

  • Neurodegenerative research in human stem cell and animal models of Alzheimer’s Disease for identification of treatment targets
  • Neuropsychiatry research in cell and animal models of schizophrenia for drug discovery
  • Brain tumour research in human glioblastoma for therapy development 

Bertie Hennecke

Bertie Hennecke

  • Ecology of environmental weeds
  • Post-release evaluation of classical biological control agents of weeds
  • Plant-biocontrol interactions
  • Impact of invasive plants on natural ecosystems
  • Salvinia invasion and biocontrol in regard to conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem management

Lisa KirkendaleLisa Kirkendale

  • Molecular identification of Australian green macroalgae in the genus Ulva
  • Seaweed cultivation including aquaculture/husbandry
  • Algal reproduction with upcoming forays into protoplast isolation, ploidy determination via microsatellite genotyping and sporing

  Jason McArthurJason McArthur

  • Topical drug delivery
  • Bacterial pathogenesis
  • Bacterial activators of human plasminogen
  • Post infectious kidney disease

Mark Ooi 2012Mark Ooi

  • Seed ecology – dormancy, germination and seed bank dynamics
  • Plant ecology – including fire-driven dynamics
  • Impacts of climate change
  • Conservation biology

Trent PenmanTrent Penman

  • Fire ecology
  • Landscape ecology
  • Risk management
  • Landscape simulation
  • Bayesian Network analysis

Kara Perrow 2011Kara Perrow

  • Development of ligand-directed targeted drugs for the treatment of malignant disease
  • Improved delivery platforms for chemotherapeutic drugs, including reformulation and the use of bio-responsive nanoparticles
  • Development of novel microtubule targeting drugs
  • Combination anti-cancer therapy and overcoming MDR mechanisms

Ana Rubio 2011Ana Rubio

  • Marine ecology
  • Aquaculture (lobster larvae, oysters)
  • Sustainable practices and productivity increases

Martina Sanderson-SmithMartina Sanderson-Smith

  • Infectious disease and bacterial pathogenesis
  • Host-pathogen interactions and resistance to host innate immunity
  • Role of the plasminogen activation system in infectious disease
  • Identifying targets for therapeutic intervention

Associate Research Fellows

David Roberts 2011David Roberts

  • Ecological genetics of terrestrial plants, and marine and estuarine fish and invertebrates
  • Marine and estuarine ecology
  • Fish and fisheries biology
  • Conservation biology 

Honorary / Visiting Fellows 

Debbie WatsonDebbie Watson

Immunology, genetics, transplantation and cancer

  • Development of therapeutic strategies to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in humans
  • Investigating P2RX7 polymorphisms in humans
  • Developing novel strategies to prevent transplant rejection
  • Genetics of kidney disease in children 


Last reviewed: 15 August, 2018