Professor of Molecular Evolution, Macquarie University

Michael Gillings has a long standing interest in the successful transition from High School to University. He is the recipient of a number of Teaching Awards at local and national levels and has published articles on pedagogical strategy.

He is a member of the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University, where he is Professor of Molecular Evolution. His research interests lie in evolution, the exploration of genetic diversity, and the movement of mobile DNA between species.

In the past five years he has worked on bacteria, fungi, invertebrates, plants, sharks, bony fish and mammals. He convenes one of the largest 1st year classes at Macquarie (Human Biology) with more than 1,200 students per semester, and is consistently voted in the top five university lecturers in Australia.

He supervises Postgraduate research students working on a wide range of projects, including management of endangered species, tracking antibiotic resistance, and the effects of global climate change. Main areas of research are Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and DNA diversity.

Teaching Awards:
1998 Macquarie University Outstanding Teacher Award, for BIOL364 Microbial Biodiversity
2009 Faculty of Science Teaching Award, for BIOL108 Human Biology
2011 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning, Genes to Geoscience Research Enrichment Program
2012 Australian Awards for University Teaching, Award for Programs that Enhance Learning – Postgraduate Education Genes to Geoscience Research Enrichment Program
2013 Creativity and Contributions to Teaching Award: Language as an Analogy for Biological Evolution
2009-2014 Placed in the top four lecturers in Australia in the Unijobs On-Line Lecturer of the Year Poll.


  • –present
    Professor of Molecular Evolution, Macquarie University


  • 1987 
    Macquarie University, Doctorate in Molecular Biology


  • 2012
    How evolution generates complexity without design: Language as an instructional metaphor., Evolution 66: 617-622. DOI:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01511.x