I am a Principal Investigator at the Max Planck Institute Department of Collective Behaviour. Prior to this, I was the Integrative Biology Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, working in collaboration with Mike Ryan and Hans Hofmann and before that a JSPS fellow in Osaka working with Masanori Kohda. I completed his PhD with Rob Brooks and Ashley Ward in Sydney, and did my undergraduate honours thesis with Madeleine Beekman and Ben Oldroyd in Sydney as well.
My research is taxonomically and methodologically broad, with projects examining the effect of social hierarchy on collective behavior, the flow of information through social groups, the sources of selection acting on behavioural traits, and the neurobiological basis for variation in social and reproductive behaviour. I use fish, insects, and spiders in the lab and field sites from Australia, Africa, and Central America.
Starting my PhD in Evolutionary Biology in 2007, at the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, University of NSW I worked on the interaction between behavioural plasticity and the social environment. This research combined laboratory experiments on guppies, field work with cichlids in Lake Tanganyika, with damselfish on the Great Barrier Reef, and with spiders (Nephila) in both the lab and field.
After my PhD, I returned to Lake Tanganyika and continued my work with social cichlids as a JSPS Fellow working with Professors Masanori Kohda and Michio Hori. I then took up a position at The University of Texas at Austin as Departmental Fellow in Integrative Biology, where I worked for two years before beginning my own group in The Department of Collective Behaviour.
Our external lab website can be found here