Hi, I am an ecologist with a keen interest in insects, conservation science and quantitative methods. I am fascinated by insects because I believe that, whether as individuals or aggregated into super-organisms, they are interesting, valuable and aesthetically pleasing life forms. I am particularly impressed by their functional and phylogenetic diversity, and by the wide range of ecological interactions by which the are linked with other living beings.
I am a Research Fellow with the Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group, in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. I work as part of the National Environmental Science Programme – Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, where I am contributing to The Shared Urban Habitat, a research project looking at addressing the broad question of how humans can effectively share the urban habitat with other species. I am particularly interested in developing a protocol for bringing nature back into cities through reintroductions and ecological replacements. I am also interested in engaging people in research-oriented citizen science.
In parallel, I am conducting research for The Little Things that Run The City, an insect ecology and conservation project co-funded by the City of Melbourne and RMIT University’s Strategic Projects in Urban Research, which is exploring how Melbourne’s green spaces support insect biodiversity and ecosystem health.
I completed my PhD in November 2013. My thesis is entitled Heteroptera ecology, biodiversity and conservation, and was supervised by Prof. Marta Goula in the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Barcelona. In my thesis I conducted a general investigation into the ecology, biodiversity and conservation of heteropteran bugs, and highlighted how the gap between taxonomy and conservation may be bridged by coupling biodiversity faunistic survey efforts with the monitoring of state variables relevant to ecological quantitative research.
As part of my PhD, I spent six months (2011-12) in Australia working in the Australian Research Council Linkage Project Ecosystems services from large urban green spaces, which is associated to the Green Infrastructure Research Group (GIRG) at The University of Melbourne. During the same time I enjoyed the hospitality of Dr. Amy Hahs at the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE). My PhD also benefited from a collaboration with the European Union LIFE-Project Demonstrating biodiversity in viticulture landscapes.