Dr. Bruno A. Buzatto

Lecturer at Flinders University

I am an evolutionary biologist fascinated by behavioural ecology and sexual selection, and my research has mostly focused on insects and arachnids. I also have a great interest on the evolution of alternative reproductive tactics, male dimorphism and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. I am a lecturer at Flinders University, and also hold an adjunct research fellow position at the University of Western Australia, where I did my PhD (link to my education here) and held an ARC DECRA position until 2017. I also worked as an environmental consultant for a company called Bennelongia Environmental Consultants (2020-2021) in Western Australia, where I became very interested in subterranean fauna and short-range endemic invertebrates, and I am now steering my research towards groups of terrestrial invertebrates of conservation concern, like mygalomorph spiders and burrowing scorpions.

Patricia Slattery - Postgraduate student @ Flinders University

I'm a postgraduate student studying Australian native bees with a particular interest in the floral visitation breadth of families at the continental scale. I am very partial to the hyper-diverse subfamily Euryglossinae, very tiny bees with a very particular floral host breadth. I grew up in the arid Flinders Ranges of South Australia and completed my Bachelor of Science and Honours at Flinders University. I have previously worked on the historical demography and population genetics in species of the Fijian native bee genera Homalictus, and am currently collaborating with colleagues on descriptions for some of those species. My historical demography experience has also led to a collaboration in comparing populations of Antarctic Collembola. In my 'spare' time I also volunteer as the Director of Student Affairs for the Australian Entomological Society and as a part of their conference committee.

Panduka Amarasekara - Honour's student @ Flinders University

I am currently an honours student exploring the potential of environmental DNA as a non-destructively obtainable resource for the purpose of genetic study of terrestrial arthropods. I have had a life-long interest in arthropods - namely arachnids and chelicerates, and I am most fascinated by their diverse array of morphologies and ecologies, and their evolutionary relationships and systematics! 

Briannah Blatchford - Honour's student @ Flinders University

I have a keen desire to work with the creatures great and small that would make most people squirm- mostly spiders, crocodiles, and other reptiles. I also have quite a soft spot for cats of all sizes- I myself have a little house panther. After completing my Animal Behaviour degree, I would love to work as a park ranger either here in Australia or up in North America.

Noah Sarunic - Honour's student @ Flinders University

My main fields of interest is coastal terrestrial ecology and Biodiversity and Conservation, with a particular passion for the Yorke Peninsula and other similar environments. My current work is focused on the threats to the unique Kangaroo Island Micro-Trapdoor spider 

Group alumni

Alfonso (Poncho) Aceves-Aparicio

PhD Candidate (Behav Ecol lab) / Research Assistant

I am interested in the evolution of animal adaptations to the habitats they live in. I have focused my research on spiders, as in most environments, they get to be both predator and prey. Thus, I can approach my questions from the aggressive and defensive mechanism performed by spiders. Following my interest in evolution, I have joint Bruno Buzatto’s research group to study reproductive tactics and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in bulb mites.

Joshua HobbsUndergraduate student and Research Assistant in the lab

I’m currently in the middle of an advanced science degree majoring in Biology at Macquarie University. Growing up close to a reserve developed a deep interest in how various species differed from each other in diverse ways; an interest that led me here. I’m hoping to pursue a career in education in the future. Other interests I have are writing, reading and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Daniel AllmanUndergraduate student and Volunteer in the lab

I grew up in Western Sydney, Australia, completing a degree in film at Sydney Film School and worked in the industry for a few years. I then decided to study a Bachelor of Marine Science at Macquarie University, with plans to finish a PhD. Anything relating to the ocean excites me, and I love integrating science and research with film.

Niah Delamotte — Undergraduate student and Volunteer in the lab

Raised nearby Brisbane Water National Park, I was keenly aware of the need for preservation of irreplaceable natural ecosystems. This brought rise to my interest in biological and environmental sciences. Currently in the process of completing a Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation at Macquarie University, I aim to develop a further understanding of animal behaviour and biotic interactions. 

Pouya Zadbar ToroghiU ndergraduate student and Volunteer in the lab

I grew up in New Zealand and moved to Australia when I was 12 years old. I've loved studying biology since I was small and have a keen interest in evolutionary biology. I'm currently doing a bachelor of medical science at Macquarie University but am hoping to switch to a degree that's more relavent to my interests.

Betty Huang — Undergraduate student and Volunteer in the lab

My interest in studying science began in high school when I started to appreciate it for its complexity. Soon after, I pursed my bachelors in science, with a major in biology at Macquarie University. Towards the end of this degree, I developed a keen interest in furthering my education in the studies of medicine.

Ryan Cuthbert — Undergraduate student and Volunteer in the lab

Recently moved to Sydney from Byron Bay, wanted to do something different. So, I decided to study Bachelor of Marine science/Biochemistry at Macquarie University. Hoping to one day get into the field of coral research regarding the evolution of the molecular signalling and control systems of coral behaviour.

Crew at Joe Tomkin's lab in 2015 -> left to right: Bruno Buzatto (me), Joe Tomkins, Kyana Pike, Charles Darwin (!), Danica McCorquodale, Huon Clark and Hannah Busey

Dr. Huon L. Clark

Research Assistant

Huon did his BSc degree through Monash University, after which he worked as an environmental consultant for about 5 years in the Northern Territory. After deciding to come back to academia, Huon did a PhD on the reproductive biology of fiddler crabs through the Australian National University, under the supervision of Pat Backwell. Moving with his family to Perth in 2016, Huon was recruited by Joe and I to run our mite selection experiment between 2016-2017.

Kyana N. Pike

BSc - James Cook University (honours through UWA)

I’m interested in a variety of natural phenomena but have a particular enthusiasm for behavioural ecology. I have a research background that concentrates on mating behaviours and related traits. I’ve worked on projects ranging from pheromone use and courtship behaviour in skinks to helping behaviour in cooperatively breeding magpies to the genetic correlations of alternative mating tactics in earwigs and bulb mites. My last project sparked more of a curiosity around combining behavioural ecology and genetics and I’m interested in marrying these topics with research questions pertaining to climate change and species adaptability. 

Solimary García Hernández

MSc - University of São Paulo (co-supervised with Prof. Glauco Machado)

I was born in Colombia, where I did my undergraduate course in biology. Since thevery beginning of my career I found myself in love with behavioral ecology, specially sexual selection, parental care, and defensive behaviors of arthropods. During my masters in ecology, at University of São Paulo, I studied how sexual dimorphism varies among populations of an earwig. I also studied how variations in the diet of the individuals during development influence the magnitude of sexual dimorphism in the adulthood. I’m currently doing my PhD, also at University of São Paulo. This time I want to understand sex-differences and the implications of tail autotomy for locomotion, reproduction, foraging, and survival of a scorpion.

Camille Tribout

BSc - Université Grenoble Alpes

I come from France and I'm currently studying chemistry and biology at University Grenoble Alps (UGA), France, in order to do a master of chemistry and I hoped to work abroad after my studies. Moreover, I am very interested in behavioural ecology and I wanted to learn more about the subject. This is why Bruno was my supervisor during a month when I did an internship at UWA. I worked with him on the passionate subject that is the cost and benefits of fighting legs in the mite Rhyzoglyphus echinopus. This was my first time working for a researcher and I felt well trained and comfortable thanks to Bruno's kindness, so that experience complements my professional orientation.