Investigating metamorphosis

Words: Véronique Paris Cover image art: © Marianne Coquilleau & Butterfly Adventures Almost every child is familiar with the famous story ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, illustrating the transformation of an unremarkable hungry caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. What exactly takes place within the pupal cocoon during the transformation remains a mystery. The scientific definition of […]


Rediscovering a ‘lost’ species

This article was first published on Pursuit. Read the original article. Associate Professor Michael Kearney and Professor Ary Hoffmann People usually go to cemeteries to visit or bury their dead but, in the name of research, we visited 25 cemeteries in Victoria, NSW and the ACT to try and find a tiny rare species of […]


Releases of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes for disease control

Words and images: Perran Ross When animals raised in captivity are released back into the wild, you might picture cute and furry mammals from an endangered species. But in many countries around the world, people are releasing mosquitoes raised in laboratories into the environment. These mosquitoes feed on human blood and are vectors of dengue, […]


Using bacteria to control mosquitoes Dr Tom Schmidt and Professor Ary Hoffmann “This article was first published on Pursuit. Read the original article.” Living inside the cells of insects is a type of bacteria that is looking increasingly like the key to controlling the spread of dengue fever, the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. […]


Using genomics to determine the adaptive potential of populations

Words: Ary Hoffmann One of the central tenets of conservation biology is that high levels of genetic variation in natural populations is important for their long-term survival. High levels of variation allow populations to adapt to changing environments through evolution. This process is now recognised as being extremely fast when selection pressures are high. In […]


MSc projects 2020 – Students wanted

We are seeking motivated MSc students to apply for several projects starting next year. Enquiries via pearg-queries@unimelb.edu.au Project 1/4: Exploring bacterial symbionts for agricultural pest control PEARG is researching ways to control important agricultural pests such as aphids and mites that cause millions of dollars in damage to crops each year in Australia. This project […]


Cracking the kinship code: Measuring animal dispersal across generations with DNA

NEW paper! Dispersal is a key component of the ecology and evolution of animal populations. It allows animals to colonize new habitats, escape deteriorating conditions, and locate mates. When animals disperse and breed successfully in new habitats that are already occupied by the same species, there will be an exchange of genes. This exchange is […]


Stowaway mozzies enter Australia from Asian holiday spots – and they’re resistant to insecticides

Original article published on The Conversation Words: Tom Schmidt, Andrew Weeks, and Ary Hoffmann We might not be able to use common insecticides to kill mosquitoes that arrive from other countries. from www.shutterstock.com Planning a trip to the tropics? You might end up bringing home more than just a tan and a towel. Our latest […]


New open access paper: Morphological and molecular analysis of Australian earwigs (Dermaptera) points to unique species and regional endemism in the Anisolabididae family

Words and images: Oliver Stuart Link to open access paper Earwigs (Dermaptera) are a challenging group of insects to study. In Australia, earwigs are variously known as pests, predators of pests (so, beneficial insects), or both at once depending on the crop type and other particulars. The invasive Forficula auricularia (the European earwig) is the […]


The insect apocalypse

A recent review paper in Biological Conservation by Francisco Sánchez-Bayoa and Kris Wyckhuys has sparked considerable media attention on the plight of insects and the need to conserve them. In amongst the noise, PEARGs own Linda Thomson was interviewed by The New Daily about what you can do in your own back yard to help. […]

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