I obtained my PhD in Zoology at the University of Tasmania in December 1998, on the evolution of ecology, morphology and behaviour in Tasmanian snow skinks. On completion, I took up a postdoctoral research position in 1998 with Prof. Jonathan Losos at Washington University, St Louis – he is now at Harvard University.
In 2001, I was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship and an additional Large ARC Grant based in Professor Rick Shine’s research group at the University of Sydney. In 2002 I was offered the position of Curator of Herpetology at Museum Victoria and in 2008 the Senior Curator of Terrestrial Vertebrates. Since 2002, I have also held an honorary position at the School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne.
My research combines field-based studies on reptiles and amphibians across conservation, genetics, ecology, taxonomy and evolution. Currently, my research focuses on revising the taxonomy of agamid lizards by integrating genetic and morphological information. I am also studying the evolutionary basis of morphological and ecological diversity in dragon lizards.
Other projects include investigating the impacts of habitat disturbance, particularly the recent Victorian bushfires, on frog populations in the Kinglake region and the impacts of habitat fragmentation on diversity of immune-system genes (MHC) in box-ironbark woodland birds. I am also running genetics projects aimed at the conservation of endangered reptiles and frogs, such as grassland earless dragons and growling grass frogs.