Research fellows  ·  PhD candidates  ·  Honours students · Research assistants

Professor Carla Sgrò

Head, Genetics, Evolution, Biodiversity and Climate Change research group


I am an evolutionary biologist, interested in understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to environmental change.

I use a combination of techniques including clinal (field) studies of phenotypic divergence, experimental evolution, quantitative genetics and genomics to examine how organisms adapt to changing environmental conditions.

I am also interested in exploring how evolutionary processes can be explicitly incorporated into biodiversity conservation and management.

Dr Greg Walter

Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)

I use quantitative genetics in laboratory, field and glasshouse experiments to study the capacity for natural populations to persist and adapt to novel environments. This includes understanding how adaptive radiation occurs and how natural populations are able to respond to environmental change.

Previously, I worked on Senecio, a wildflower, in Europe and Australia.

Currently, I am using experimental evolution with Drosophila to understand how genetic variation in plasticity and genetic correlations among traits determine adaptation to stressful environments.

Fiona Cockerall

PhD student and lab manager


During my PhD I have been interested in understanding the genes and mechanisms organisms use to adapt to environmental change. Given all that we know about the heat shock response and that various genes are up- or down-regulated during heat stress I was interested in whether total protein synthesis rate was linked to geographical patterns of heat tolerance. I further looked at transcript expression of the hsr-omega gene as this gene has strong links to climatic adaptation and is associated with controlling protein synthesis rate. I used geographically divergent populations from climatically diverse regions to see whether differences in transcript expression of this gene, or rate of protein synthesis contribute to the differences observed between these populations in heat tolerance.

In my current role as a researcher in Carla’s lab I have broadened my interests from asking questions about genes and mechanisms to using quantitative genetic experiments to ask questions about heritability of stress traits within diverse species of Drosophila and Scaptodrosophila.

Movis Choy

PhD student

I am a PhD student supervised by Carla and Christen Mirth. My research is focussed on understanding genetic variation in and evolution of phenotypic plasticity in response to combinations of stressors.

Bowen Slater

PhD student

I am a PhD student supervised by Christen Mirth and Carla.

Aidan Stuckey

PhD student

I am a PhD student supervised by Christen Mirth and Carla.

Jared Lush

PhD student

I am a PhD student supervised by Matt Hall and Carla

Patrick Taresch

Honours student

I will be studying the extent to which genetic adaptation and plasticity have contributed to a range expansion in Drosophila serrata.

Kathryn Hughes

Honours student

I am doing honours with Carla and Christen Mirth. I will be studying parental effects in response to combinations of stressors in Drosophila melanogaster.

Louise Cardamone

Honours student

I am doing honours with Christen Mirth and Carla and will studying the extent of developmental plasticity in ovariole number and body size in Drosophila serrata, a species currently undergoing a range expansion.

Connor Bevan

Research assistant

I am currently helping with experiments looking at genetic variation in plasticity and range shifts in Drosophila.

Isobel Tyson

Research assistant

I am working in Carla’s lab as a research assistant helping with experiments on variation in plasticity among locally adapted populations of Drosophila melanogaster and the extent to which plasticity contributes to adaptation.