We are primarily interested in better understanding how nutrition affects individuals’ life history traits and the consequences to evolutionary forces. This includes understanding how nutrition at the juvenile and adult stages plastically modulate physiology and behaviour, and how these plastic changes affect the strength of (sexual) selection. We adopt both theoretical and empirical approaches to provide insights in our field and we strongly encourage lateral thinking to help develop new frameworks in nutritional ecology. Our research is taxonomically focused on insects and potentially other invertebrates. Not that we are not interested in vertebrates at all, but that’s not where our core knowledge contributions to science were made so far (although we have some work on mice teeth!).
In recent years, we gained appreciation for the social aspects of science and the interactions between insects and humans that can be the key for humanity’s sustainable development. Topics such as insect-as-food, ecosystem services, policies, citizen science etc are becoming more prominent within our culture and we would like those projects to grow within the group.
Last but not least – we are open-minded and do not see our research fitting into a box. Yes, we are biologists, entomologists, behavioural ecologists etc but we love the challenge of developing something new and exciting that goes beyond the boundaries of disciplines. Have a look at our publications to know what we have been up to lately.
Science is Art: painting the back of Drosophila melanogaster for individual identification. Photo is not mine, I stole from Stuart Wigby's website. But I did paint thousands of flies throughout years.
Beloved Diptera larva. More specifically, Bactrocera tryoni (Queensland fruit fly) larva, a major horticulture pest in Australia. Our work has provided key insights on larval developmental ecology of this pest, aiding pest management.
Measuring bone loss in mice. Periodontitis or gum disease causes tooth loss. Our work investigated how diet macronutrient balance influenced oral health, helping our understanding of the interaction between nutrition, oral and systemic health.
Outreach & Public Engagement
We have coordinated a number of outreach and public engagement programs. Our primary target audience is Latin American, although we are looking to expand our projects to your local community. How about we do a project together? See some pictures of the ‘blast’ we had in Latin America and Australia. Oh, and don’t forget to download the e-book that we prepared to help students learn Geometry, a topic that we understand can be challenging. You can find our Poetic Geometry book here.
Our outreach on the Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney. Year 10-11 students were given a practical experiment where they collected and analysed data, learning how to interpret the results.
Launching of Poetic Geometry. Friends and family joined us to in a small event to officially launch the first version of our book.
Our team during our visits to schools as part of the outreach project during the National Science Week in Brazil. We reached out to more than 550 students during the week, across 7 schools.
Opening session of the outreach course in Culiácan (Mexico). Absolutely terrific crowd attending the course, which aimed to change students' perception on oral and systemic health.
In the pub, explaining why poop can help choose our next sexual partner (at least if you are a fly). This was part of the National Fresh Science competition in Australia.