My main area of interest is mammalian evolutionary ecology, I’m particularly interested in exploring how biotic and abiotic factors interact to determine differences in body size within Australian mammal species.
I completed my BSc at Flinders University in 1998, majoring in animal, plant, and environmental biology. The following year, I undertook an Honours degree in southern California under the Flinders Study Abroad Program. My project examined foraging theory using kangaroo rats, a small North American rodent, as a model species. After a long break from study, I returned to do a PhD at Flinders, which I completed in 2016. This examined determinants of body-size variation within several exemplar Australian mammal species. I assessed geographic body-size patterns (e.g., Bergmann’s rule), temporal body-size trends in species of kangaroo post-European arrival in Australia (human-induced body-size evolution), as well as supposedly ubiquitous features of the island rule, e.g., do ‘small’ mammals get larger and ‘large’ mammals get smaller when isolated on islands?
Currently, I am involved with projects that use fossils to look at body-size changes in Australian mammal species throughout the past million years. This is aimed at exploring how such changes track with climate change and human presence. I am also interested in generating more accurate body-size (mass) estimates for some of Australia’s extinct mammalian megafaunal species. I also enjoy teaching in undergraduate biology courses and guiding postgraduates with course tasks, as well as managing modern and fossil collections and processing fossil samples.