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Alastair Richardson

Honorary Research Associate, School of Zoology at University of Tasmania

I gained my PhD from the University of Exeter (UK) and joined the Department of Zoology at the University of Tasmania in 1972. Since then I have worked in Tasmania, with periods of extended study leave in England, Hawaii and Scotland. I retired in 2007.

I am interested in the biology of terrestrial and freshwater crustaceans, and the role they play as ecosystem engineers. I am particularly interested in their colonisation of land, since Tasmania provides good opportunities to study this. The island supports some of the world's most terrestrial burrowing crayfish, and also a series of amphipod species from sea to land that reflects the evolutionary stages of land colonisation. This allows us to examine the morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations to the challenges of terrestrial life. I am also interested in the ecology of intermediate habitats such as the strandline and saltmarshes. I have studied the evolution and biogeography of the Tasmanian fauna, particularly terrestrial amphipods and freshwater crayfish..