Our lab started out working predominately on bees, not only the commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera) but also Asian bees (Apis cerana, Apis florea, Apis andreniformis, Apis dorsata) and Australian stingless bees (Tetragonula, Austroplebeia). Over the years we have incorporated other social insects, in particular ants as well as the acellular slime mould Physarum polycephalum (which is not an insect, nor social…).
We have a molecular laboratory well equipped for microsatellite analysis, genomic and PCR work, cloning, allozyme analysis and sequencing. We have several PCR machines, a LightCycler for qPCR and an Applied Biosystems 3130xl Genetic Analyser. Our strain of anarchistic bees provides a unique opportunity to study both reproductive conflicts as well as the genetic basis of worker sterility. The honey bees are kept at our apiary at the Hawkesbury campus of the University of Western Sydney, Richmond, at the Crommelin Research Station ('Warrah'), Pearl Beach and at our bee house at Sydney University. Observation hives can be kept both at Sydney and Hawkesbury, whereas Warrah provides us with bush and tranquillity. We have good financial resources, and can arrange graduate degree stipends for motivated students who meet admission standards of the University. Applications for Scholarships close in May and October of each year. Check the University's Research Training Office. A limited number of Postdoctoral Fellowships are available from the University.
Our objective is to develop an exciting, supportive, research environment with a focus on whole-organism behaviour, supported by excellent technical personnel (beekeepers and molecular biologists) and state-of-the-art technology.