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People: Past and Present.


Undergraduate, honours, Masters and PhD students, Postdoctoral fellows, Research Assistants since 2005:


taken Nov. 2021

Soumitra Bhide

February 2020

A big welcome to Soumitra who has joined us from India. His masters project is entitled 'Understanding the Cap'n'Collar pathway and exploring its potential as cargo in gene drives for insect control. 

Clancy Lawler

Mid 2019

We were very lucky to have Clancy join us for his Masters of Science degree mid 2019!

Natalia Hernandes

Welcome to Natalia who has just started as a Research Assistant in our lab


Courtney Brown

Welcome to Courtney who starts her Masters with us in 2019!

Katrina-Lee Saunders Ware

February 2018->December 2019

After finishing her Masters Kat has got some gigs teaching genetics to folks at Melbourne Uni. 

Detoxification by phosphorylation

Jack Scanlan

2013-2014, 2016-now

Jack did his Masters in the lab:

Thesis title: The functional characterisation of a taxonomically limited gene family.

He took a year off to put more time into the Science magazine he established  :

He is now doing a PhD championing the x-kinases.

His first paper is now out  in IBMB (click on the image to access)


Check out Jack's Pursuit article:

The most speciose phyla/sub-phyla in this tree do not have cholesterol synthesis genes

Caitlyn Perry


PhD Title:  Variation in Ecdysone metabolism among insects.In the second half of 2015 Caitlyn presented her work in multiple forums including: The Australian Entomological Society Meeting in Cairns, the EMBO Australia PhD symposium in Melbourne and the BioSciences graduate student symposium. Caitlyn was also awarded the Alfred Nicholas Scholarship for 2015! She has also been  selected as a member of the Australian team competing in the Linnaean Games, a student entomological trivia contest associated with the Entomological Society of America conference. Click on the image for her recent publication. 

Copy Number Variation in insect P450s

Paul Battlay


PhD: The quantitative genetics of  insecticide resistance in Drosophila melanogaster.

decorations of ecdysone

Rebecca Smith


PhD (2013-): The characterization of the structure and function of X-kinases.


honours (2012):  The role of CG10737 in the DDT resistance phenotype, three hour knockdown.

Helicoverpa armigera

David Clarke


PhD title: Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics of Lepidopteran Genomic and Transcriptomic data.


Co-supervisor: Lars Jermiin CSIRO


MSc(bioinformatics) title: Evolutionary rates in Lepidopterans- Is there a fast Z? June 2012.

Helicoverpa armigera

Sue Vern Song

2009 -2018

Population genomics and transcriptomics in the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera

Sue investigated the population genetics of one of Australia’s biggest agricultural pests; Helicoverpa armigera. Her application of genomic technologies revealed that this moth is extremely diverse at the molecular level and shows little population structure. She identified adaptatively evolving genes including insecticide resistance genes and it informs pest control strategies.

Myzus persicae

Amol Ghodke

2013 ->2018

PhD Title: Comparative and Functional Genomics of Aphids.


In 2015 Amol gave oral presentations about his research at the Australian Entomological Meeting in Cairns, the EMBO Australia PhD meeting in Melbourne and in 3 minutes of excellent entertainment at the BioSciences PhD student Symposium.

Ryanodine receptor

Llewellyn Green


PhD title: The genetic basis of resistance to the Ryanodine Receptor Modulator, Chlorantraniliprole.


MSc(genetics) title: Is DDT resistance a species-defining trait in the Drosophila ananassae species copmplex?

In 2018 Llew starts a postdoc in Barcelona, Spain, with Josefa Gonzalez.

Pontus Le Blanc

2016 - 2018

Pontus started a Masters of bioscience degree in our lab in 2016. He had spent some time as a casual in the lab in 2015. In 2016 he performed GWAS using insecticides that are used against D. suzukii. He also explored the population genetics of these loci in D.suzukii .

After finishing his Masters, Pontus landed a Research Assistant job at Monash University.

Helen Young


Helen is an MSc student. She submitted this week (October) and is thinking of travelling to exciting places next year. She has been working on the behavioural effects of imidacloprid on Drosophila melanogaster.  Her chief supervisor is Alex Fournier-Level.

Helicoverpa armigera

Angela McGaughran


Angela is a postdoctoral fellow and spends much of her time in Lars Jermiin's lab at CSIRO in Canberra. She is working on the genomics of Helicoverpa species.  


The big news of October 2015 was that Angela was awarded an ARC DECRA fellowship which she will take up at the ANU. She will continue to work with Helicoverpa population genetics using historical samples.

self organising map of insect activity

Alexandre Fournier-Level


Alex joined the lab with a Human Frontiers Fellowship entitled: Consequence of environmental adaptation on insecticide resistance: where is the cost?


He now has his own position in the School of Biosciences.


Alex has just had a paper accepted to the Journal of Evolutionary Biology (Alexandre Fournier-Level, Adina Neumann-Mondlak, Robert T. Good, Llewellyn M. Green, Joshua M. Schmidt and Charles Robin (2016) Behavioral response to combined insecticide and temperature stress in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster.

Drosophila kikkawai

Madeleine Gane


MSc(genetics) title: Elucidating the genetic basis of desiccation resistance in Drosophila using a candidate gene approach.

Natural allelic series at Cyp6g1

Joshua Schmidt

PhD 2014

PhD title: The genetics of DDT resistancein Drosophila melanogaster: Novel insights into an old debate.Josh investigated how the fly Drosophila melanogaster has evolved to detoxify the insecticide DDT.   He showed that a succession of genetic alterations have spread through global populations since 1945.  In quantifying the contribution that different genes have made on temporal and spatial scales, he has provided important insights into the genetic architecture of adaptive evolution. 

Pseudogene origination models

Lisa Bardsley

Graduated 2013

PhD title: Pseudogenes and Neutral Evolution in Drosophila melanogaster


Lisa characterized the molecular evolution of pseudogenes among insects. Her description of the patterns and processes affecting these functionless DNA sequences facilitates the detection of functional genetic elements. This helps distinguish parts of a genome that are ‘junk’ from those that have an importance that is uncharacterized.

Drosophila melanogaster

Alisa Sedghifar


honours thesis:  Exploring the genetic basis of desiccation resistance in Drosophila.


Alisa went to UC Davis (Dave Begun's lab) to do a PhD in population genetics.

Structural model of P450

Lydia Gramzow


Lydia did the research component of her Diplom-Bioinformatiker from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena here.


Title:  Evolution of gene duplications in Cytochrome P450 genes in twelve Drosophila genomes.

Heat map of gene expression

Thuan-jin Kee


Jin's interest in the 'boundaries of inducibility' led him to examine transcriptome changes induced by natural and man-made toxins. His work revealed that the multigene family encoding proteins with 'domains of unknown function 227' (DUF227's) were  second only to P450's in their inducibility to xenobiotic substances.

Crystals of GstD1

Low Wai Yee (Lloyd)

Graduated 2009

PhD title: Molecular evolution, structure and function of Glutathione S-Transferases in the genus Drosophila


Lloyd characterized the evolution of a family of detoxification enzymes, the Glutathione S-transferases, among flies of the genus Drosophila and developed a structural model of how glutathione s-transferase metabolise the insecticide, DDT. The research sets an agenda calling for better design of insecticides that reduce the chance of insecticide resistance evolving.

Fighting Drosophila melanogaster males

Yi Wen Qian


Honours thesis:  Fighting flies

Drosophila ananassae

Emma Warburton


Honours thesis: Molecular Population Genetics of the Drosophila ananassae subgroup.

Drosophila melanogaster

Wayn Wong


Honours thesis: A comparative analysis of reported pseudogenes in the Drosophila genus.

Fungal choice test set up

Sarah Berriman


Honours thesis: The genetic basis of resistance to fungal toxins in Drosophila.

Expression of Cyp307a2 in Drosophila brain

Tamar Sztal


Honours thesis: How have natural environments shaped the evolution and regulation of detoxification genes in Drosophila species?

Cumulative Read coverage around Cyp6g1

Robert Trygve Good


After a decade of  being the lab guru in bioinformatics and molecular biology and basically everything, Rob is going off island hopping through the Indonesian archipelago. Checkout some of the bioinformatic tools he has left as his legacy.

Helicoverpa armigera caterpillar

Adam Southon


Adam was a part time research assistant who helped establish the Robin lab and was (and is) wonderful! He subsequently did a PhD with Jim Camakaris.

Esterase allozyme gel

Dan Hovan


Dan worked on the esterases of Helicoverpa armigera with David Heckel and I. Click on the button for a link to a publication that includes some of his work.

Helicoverpa armigera

Choon Wei Wee (Jeff)

Graduated 2006

PhD title: Functional Genomics of insecticide resistance and xenobiotic metabolism in Helicoverpa armigera


Using a combination of cDNA-AFLP and cDNA microarray, differential expression of genes between fenvalerate resistance and susceptible Helicoverpa armigera was investigated to identify candidate genes that may confer resistance. A cytochrome P450, CYP337B1 was identified and mapped to the resistance locus. It is also inducible by esfenvalerate among other detoxification genes. Insects were also challenged with three other xenobiotics and suites of inducible genes were identified. These responsive genes may play roles in detoxifying these compounds.


Co-supervised by Prof. David Heckel.

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