DR Ben PHILLIPS

DR Ben PHILLIPS

Positions

  • Dispersal Evolution
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Evolution in response to environmental change
  • Population dynamics
  • Reptiles and amphibians

Overview

OverviewText1

  • I started my research life with an Honours project with Craig Moritz (at University of Queensland) on hybrid zones in the Wet Tropics. I then went on to a PhD at the University of Sydney under Rick Shine on the evolutionary response of snakes to the invasion of cane toads. This led to a couple of postdocs with Rick based in the Northern Territory, and the slow degeneration of my interests; away from snakes and towards the toads themselves. Following a brief stint at James Cook University, I arrived at Melbourne in 2014 in the final phases of a QEII fellowship. From mid 2015, I will commence a standard academic appointment in the Zoology Department.

    I am deeply interested in evolution, and I am deeply interested in how spatial processes influence evolution. These interests explain my involvement in various projects including hybrid zones, invasive species (cane toads), rapid evolution (snakes, chytrid fungus), and community dynamics (spinifex and fire). I also enjoy the art of confronting models with data, so am involved here and there with ecological modeling work to which I've taken an interest.

    My current work (involving many collaborators and students) is roughly organized as such:

    1. The evolution of dispersal on range edges. Using theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding how dispersal rates evolve on species' range edges.

    2. Adaptation to climate in isolated populations. A large empirical landscape-level study looking at the evolution of climate-relevant traits in isolated populations. The idea here is to understand the role of isolation in generating adaptive diversity in the traits that mediate the impact of climate change.

    3. Eco-evolutionary miscellania. The grab-bag that holds many other projects including work on invasive geckos and their parasites; the host-parasite dynamics of chytrid fungus and frogs; halting the spread of toads across northern Australia, to name a few. I'm a   

Publications

Selected publications

Research

Investigator on

Awards

Education and training

  • PhD, University of Sydney 2005
  • BSc (Hons), The University of Queensland 1999

Linkages

Supervision

Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I'm interested in working with students on projects mentioned in the numbered points of the biography section.  I am, however, broadly interested in ecology, evolution, and ecological modelling so am happy to entertain other ideas!