Welcome to my blog!
I’m an ecologist and entomologist with an interest in complex systems, urban environments, sustainable agriculture, citizen science, and science communication. I’m passionate about nature photography, science fiction, gardening, bushwalking, and sailing. I’m a dad of a little monster (about to start school this year) and have the good fortune to be married to my favourite person in the world (for almost a decade now).
I’m fascinated by insects because I believe that, whether as individuals or aggregated into super-organisms, they are interesting, valuable and beautiful life forms. I’m particularly impressed by their functional and phylogenetic diversity, and by the diverse array of ecological interactions by which the are linked with other living beings.
I enjoy discovering and learning from nature through photography! I’m convinced that capturing aesthetically pleasing images of living beings is one of the best ways to bring art and science together. Since 2008, I’ve been posting photos to my flick photostream.
I’m a Lead – Research Scientists at Cesar Australia, where I’m working alongside a high-performance team of ecologists, entomologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and data modellers to lead research activities focusing on sustainable farming practices, invertebrate pest management, and biodiversity conservation in agroecosystems. In this role, I hope to contribute to Cesar’s vision of a thriving and sustainable world achieved through the application of scientific excellence and innovation.
I’m also a researcher in the Urban Green Spaces Research Group, which is part of the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at the University of Melbourne. I’m currently working on a range of projects seeking to provide evidence of the ecological and community engagement benefits of urban greening actions, the social and ecological benefits of wildlife gardening, and the contributions of citizen science projects – from local urban biodiversity blitzes to global initiatives such as the City Nature Challenge – to increase biodiversity knowledge across spatial and temporal scales.
I’m an alum of the Santa Fe Institute. In 2020, I was fortunate to take part on the inaugural Complexity Interactive, a program that “provides a foundation for thinking broadly about complex systems, encouraging participants to explore syntheses across systems in an open dialog with SFI faculty”. As part of this, I’m currently collaborating with other Complexity Interactive alumni and SFI researchers in a project looking at feedbacks between social and ecological networks.
I conducted my PhD research — Heteroptera ecology, biodiversity and conservation — in the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Barcelona, which included six months in Australia collaborating in the Australian Research Council Linkage Project Ecosystems services from large urban green spaces. During this time, I enjoyed the hospitality of Dr Amy Hahs at the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology.