Members

Dustin Marshall
Prof Dustin J Marshall
Monash University
Director

Professor Dustin Marshall is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Fellow and head of the Marine Evolutionary Ecology Group (MEEG) in the School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Australia.

He has published more than 150 papers, is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Oikos, and an editor for invited review papers for Science, Annual Reviews, Trends in Ecology and Evolution and Current Biology. .

Dustin’s research interests focus on how variation affects the evolution and ecology of marine organisms. Currently, he is interested in using quantitative genetics approaches to understand the limits of adaptation in marine organisms and the evolution of life histories.

Craig White
Prof Craig White
Monash University
Deputy Director

Professor Craig White is an evolutionary physiologist interested in describing and understanding the causes and consequences of physiological variation in animals.

Craig’s current research focuses on the evolution of periodic ventilation in insects, macrophysiological and allometric variation in the energy expenditure of animals, and the role of physiology in structuring communities.

His research group studies a range of traits, with an emphasis on body size, metabolic rate, water loss, and breathing patterns; and employs a range of approaches including manipulative experiments, comparative studies, experimental evolution, and quantitative genetic analyses. His group works chiefly on insects, but has collected physiological data for a diverse range of taxa including marine invertebrates, aquatic and terrestrial arthropods, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Prof Tim Coulson
The University of Oxford

Professor Tim Coulson is Professor of Zoology at Jesus College, The University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Tim uses structured population models parameterized with data from laboratory and field systems to link ecological and evolutionary theory. He has developed mathematical models to connect population dynamics, quantitative genetics, population genetics and life history theory.

Tim is particularly interested in understanding the ecological and evolutionary impacts that environmental change has on natural systems. His research group examines how demographic rates vary across genotypes, phenotypes and environments, identifying the ecological, evolutionary and conservation consequences of this variation.

Assoc Prof Michael Bode
Queensland University of Technology

Michael is an Associate Professor and Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow in the School of Mathematical Sciences at QUT in Brisbane.

He is interested in spatial aspects of ecology, evolution and conservation, particularly when multiple actors are present, interacting and competing: species, conservation organisations, genotypes.

Dr Tim Connallon
Monash University

Tim is a lecturer in genetics within the School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Australia.

Tim is interested in the intersection between evolutionary theory and data, including specific models used to explain biological observations, and similarly, how models and statistics can answer difficult questions in evolutionary biology. His research generally focuses on the evolution of sexual dimorphism, adaptation and evolutionary constraints, sex chromosome evolution, life-history tradeoffs, and the maintenance of genetic variation in populations.

Dr Jeremy Barr
Monash University

Jeremy is a lecturer and group leader in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University.

Jeremy is a bacteriophage biologist who uses experimental systems to investigate the interactions between bacteriophages, their bacterial hosts and eukaryotic cells and environments they colonise within the human body.

His main study system is the mucosal surface: a microbe-rich, protective barrier that covers the active epithelium of the body, including the gut, lung and urinary tract among other locales.

Dr Keyne Monro
Monash University

Keyne is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University. She is interested in selection and evolution in changing environments.

Keyne’s lab works in the emerging, multidisciplinary field of marine evolutionary ecology.

Dr Chris Greening
Monash University

Chris is a lecturer in environmental microbiology at the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University.

Chris is dedicated to understanding how bacteria can exist in extreme environments. He’s particularly interested in understanding the metabolic basis of biodiversity of soil microorganisms and persistence of pathogenic bacteria. To do so, he adopts a transdisciplinary approach to study biological processes at all levels of organisation: from enzymes to ecosystems.

Within the Centre, Chris is interested in understanding metabolic scaling relationships within and between microorganisms. He is additionally exploring the evolutionary and ecological significance of morphological changes during bacterial persistence.

Dr Michael McDonald
Monash University

Mike is a lecturer and group leader in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University.

Mike is interested in the genetics of adaptation. His experimental approach is to grow populations of yeast (and other microbes) for 1000’s of generations in a variety of environments, observing evolution as it happens. With the tools of whole genome sequencing, statistical analysis and genetic engineering his group works towards finding rules for how new mutations and natural selection shape a better adapted organism.

Dr Matt Hall
Monash University

Matt is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) DECRA fellow and group leader in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University.

Matt’s current research investigates the evolutionary genetics of life’s big challenges: sex, death, and disease. Central to these topics is an understanding of how energy is acquired, used, or exploited throughout a host’s life. Projects include understanding why hosts differ in their capacity to be exploited by a pathogen, how differences between the sexes in their condition and energy use influence the evolution of disease, and does the energy efficiency of a host or pathogen influence its rate of spread during an invasion.

Dr Christen Mirth
Monash University

Christen is the Head of the Developmental Responses to Environmental Change Research Group in The School of Biological Sciences at Monash University.

Christen is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie environmentally- and genetically-induced variation in body size and shape. Christen and her research group use the genetic tools available in Drosophila melanogaster to dissect how environmental signals, like nutrition and temperature, regulate growth and foraging choices.

Dr Giulia Ghedini
Monash University

Giulia is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Marine Evolutionary Ecology Group, School of Biological Sciences at Monash University

Giulia is a community ecologist, interested in understanding how processes that operate across scales of biological organisation contribute to determine community dynamics.

Currently, she is using communities of marine sessile invertebrates as model systems to test for the influence of individual size, population density and the abiotic environment in determining community use of resources.

Dr Martino Malerba
Monash University

Martino is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Marine Evolutionary Ecology Group, School of Biological Sciences at Monash University

Martino is interested in species interactions, especially the mechanisms promoting coexistence in natural ecosystems.

He grows phytoplankton species in laboratory conditions to test ecological and evolutionary theories and has previously applied ecological modelling to various taxa including bacteria and reef fish.

Dr Mélissa Verin
Queens University

Mélissa is a post-doctoral research fellow in the department of Mathematics and Statistics, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada.

Mélissa is a theoretical ecologist, interested in understanding the evolution of life history traits and strategies in response to unpredictable environmental variations.

Mélissa is currently studying the influence of increasing temperatures on the evolution of cell size. Colleagues from the Centre of Geometric Biology are running experiments on the temperature-dependence of metabolism scaling in phytoplankton to calibrate the size-structured population models she is developing together with Troy Day.

Dr Mariana Álvarez-Noriega
Monash University

Mariana is a post doctoral research fellow.

Mariana’s main interest is using quantitative approaches to better understand community dynamics, particularly competitive interactions. She is also interested in understanding variation in the relationship between demographic rates and state variables (e.g. size) among individuals.

Mariana is currently investigating latitudinal gradients in the relationship between reproduction and size in marine fish.

In her PhD, Mariana combined statistical and mathematical modelling to quantify the potential of different coexistence-promoting mechanisms to contribute to coral biodiversity maintenance.

Hayley Cameron
Monash University

Hayley is a PhD candidate interested in the evolution of life-history strategies in marine invertebrates and seaweeds. Her research examines the links between maternal phenotype, offspring size and offspring fitness.

The primary aim of Hayley’s PhD project is to investigate correlations between maternal size and offspring size, focusing on why larger mothers might produce larger offspring, and whether larger mothers produce higher quality offspring.

Lukas Schuster
Monash University

Lukas is a PhD candidate interested in the evolution and ecology of physiological traits in marine invertebrates. Lukas’ project focuses on the resting metabolism of the arborescent marine bryozoan Bugula neritina.

Lukas is investigating the eco-evolutionary consequences of such an intra-specific variation in metabolic rate. His research aims to address the questions: How does selection act on resting metabolic rate in different environments? and how do intra-specific differences in resting metabolic rate affect population dynamics?

James Matcott
Monash University

James is a PhD candidate. His research examines various differences over the course of an organism’s life and the subsequent physical, behavioural, and ecological effects, when compared with other organisms.

James’ project explores how various life history modes affect adult mass-specific metabolic rates across a diversity of marine invertebrate species.

He hopes to determine whether or not there is a lasting metabolic cost or benefit associated with particular developmental modes.

Julian Beaman
Monash University

Julian is a PhD candidate with an interest in the ecological and evolutionary consequences of environmentally-induced phenotypic variation.

His PhD research focuses on the evolution of metabolic scaling and growth in the cockroach Nauphoeta cinerea. The aim of his project is to apply a quantitative genetic framework to estimate genetic and environmental sources of variation in metabolic scaling relationships and juvenile growth rates.

Alex Gangur
Monash University

Alex is a PhD candidate. He is broadly interested in how natural populations and communities respond to change using both experimental and modelling approaches, and extracting actionable insights from this work for policy.

Alex will be experimentally evolving harpacticoid copepods (Tisbe sp.) to evaluate the eco-evolutionary response to food-rich and food-poor environments. He will couple this experimental work with integral projection models to predict future population dynamics.

Emily Richardson
Monash University

Emily is a PhD student interested in understanding the ecological and evolutionary consequences of particular life history strategies. Most animal species develop via complex life cycles, passing through stages to reach maturity.

Emily’s PhD aims to investigate the evolution of complex life histories and whether ecological factors can predict when and why life history transitions occur.

Tormey Reimer
Monash University
Research Assistant

Tormey did her Master’s at Melbourne University, where she investigated the causes and consequences of an otolith deformity in farmed Atlantic salmon.

Tormey is currently a Research Assistant dedicated to working within the Centre for Geometric Biology.

She is currently responsible for maintaining the size selected algal cultures for Martino and assisting in a range of experiments managed by Giulia. Tormey is looking to do a PhD in the near future.

Michaela Parascandalo
Monash University
Research Assistant

Michaela is broadly interested in life history theory, particularly surrounding reproduction.

Her honours project investigated the trans-generational effect of sexual conflict on the reproductive output of females.

Within the Centre for Geometric Biology, Michaela is using existing literature to create a database on the relationship between body size and fecundity of a wide range of taxa, including marine invertebrates, terrestrial invertebrates, freshwater fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

Dr Liz Morris
Monash University
Administrations Manager

Liz is the Administrations Manager at the Centre for Geometric Biology.

Liz is responsible for administration including organising and facilitating workshops and visits from students and academics. Liz is also responsible for communicating the research interests and outputs of the Centre to a broad audience. Please get in touch with Liz if you have any general enquiries that relate to the Centre.