Professor in Behavioural Genetics, University of Sydney

I am primarily interested in behavioural genetics and the evolution of social behaviour. Almost all of my research has been on honey bees, including the South African Cape bee, Asian honeybees (check out my book) and Australian native stingless bees Tetragonula and Austroplebia.

I started out as a quantitative geneticist, working on practical problems of bee breeding. I then got involved with the population genetics of Africanized bees in central America.

For the last 20 years have been working on the mechanisms by which social cohesion is maintained in bee colonies. In particular, I have bred a unique strain of bees in which workers lay eggs with high frequency. These 'anarchistic' bees provide a superb resource for investigating the mechanisms by which worker sterility is maintained in normal colonies. By comparing the behaviour and genetics of normal and anarchistic bees, we try to uncover the fundamental properties of social insects. Our ultimate goal is to isolate and characterise the genes that control worker sterility in social insects. For more information see the Research and Publication pages.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor in Behavioural Genetics, University of Sydney

Education

  • 1985 
    University of Sydney, PhD Genetics