The University of Melbourne – Victorian Tall Poppy of the Year 2009

One of Michael’s research topics tackles the question – “why give up sex?” He studies grasshoppers, stick insects and geckos from the Australian arid zone, which have given up sex and reproduce instead by cloning. By understanding what makes these asexual species successful, Michael hopes to describe the ecological and evolutionary forces that shape our largest ecosystem.

Human alterations to climate and habitats are causing unprecedented changes to the distribution and abundance of species, with consequences for conservation, health and economies. Michael has developed novel approaches in order to predict the responses of endangered species, pests and disease vectors to future climate change.