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Researcher, Flinders University

I arrived in Adelaide in 1996 from the Netherlands with an overseas postdoctoral research scholarship from Flinders University to study for a PhD on ‘Evolution of Carpenter bees’. During 2007-2011 I worked with Jim Mitchell on the Ecology and Biodiversity of Invertebrates (stygofauna) in South Australian aquifers funded by an ARC Linkage grant. Currently, I am involved with a new ARC-Linkage funded project with Jim Mitchell on Ecosystem Health of Ground Water.

Additionally since 1996, I have been working in the Evolutionary Biology Unit and the Terrestrial Invertebrates Section of the South Australian Museum, first as a student and subsequently as a research fellow, research associate on various ARC-funded projects on stygofauna, and later as honorary research associate on projects on the biology, conservation, taxonomy and systematics of native bees and evolution of stygofauna.

Research Interests: Evolutionary biology; Historical biogeography; Phylogenetics; Conservation; Evolution of groundwater fauna (stygobiology); Groundwater ecology; Taxonomy and systematics of native bees; Fire ecology.

Current Research Projects:

Evolution and systematics of diverse groundwater organisms (stygofauna) of South Australia and beyond.
Taxonomy and systematics of Koonunga from groundwaters in Southern Australia, with the description of new species. 2012, ABRS Tactical Taxonomy Grant, $ 9000.
Taxonomy of Colletid bees collected on Bush Blitz surveys around Australia (WA, SA, NT), with description of new species. 2012, ABRS Tactical Taxonomy Grant, $30,000.
Conservation and fire management of the Green Carpenter bee (Xylocopa aeratus) on Kangaroo Island.
Effect of bush fires on native bee biodiversity.
Molecular Biodiversity Assessments of Stygofauna and Troglofauna for Environmental Impact studies.

Community involvement
Public lectures on biodiversity and conservation of Australian native bees.

PhD, Flinders University of South Australia (2000).


  • –present
    Researcher, Flinders University