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Bioessays Margo Adler

 Lab News


● 5/02/2018: Congratulations to Amy Hooper on winning the E&ERC Outstanding Evolution and Ecology Student Paper of 2017 award for her paper on the evolution of ageing in Evolution Letters. Nathan Burke was runner-up for his paper on the evolution of sex in TREE.

● 31/01/2018: Congratulations to Amy Hooper on submitting her PhD thesis!

● 14/12/2017: Congratulations to Amy Hooper, whose paper on the role of sexual selection in the evolution of ageing has been accepted for publication in Evolution Letters!

● 5/12/2017: Nathan Burke, Erin Macartney and Zac Wylde gave great talks at the Australasian Evolution Society meeting in Hobart, Tasmania.

● 17/11/2017: Lab meeting

● 2/11/2017: Zac Wylde and Erin Macartney gave great talks at the recent Postgraduate Research Forum.

● 10/09/2017: Zac Wylde and Erin Macartney (pictured with Susi Zajitschek) presented their work at the Biology of Sperm meeting in Sheffield, UK.

● 25/08/2017: Amy Hooper, Erin Macartney and Russell presented their research at ESEB2017 in Groningen, Netherlands.

● 18/08/2017: Congratulations to lab alumna Margo Adler on the launch of Beaker Street, a pop-up science bar at the Tasmanian Museum in Hobart, as part of National Science Week 2017. The highly successful science-outreach event attracted thousands of people.

● 25/07/2017: Nathan Burke gave a talk on his research at the 2017 meeting of the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour. He also presented his work at the UNSW Faculty of Science 1-minute thesis competition.

● 5/06/2017: Nathan Burke gave a great talk at the mid-year Postgraduate Research Forum, and also won a prize at the bake-off competition!

● 5/06/2017: Congratulations to Nathan Burke on getting a paper from his PhD research accepted for publication in Trends in Ecology and Evolution!

● 10/05/2017: setting up the new lab...

● The lab is packed up for the impending move to the new biology building!

● A new lab member: the Australian leaf insect Phyllium monteithi:

● 4/04/2017: Congratulations to Erin Macartney on acceptance of her paper "Adult dietary protein has age- and context-dependent effects on male post-copulatory performance" for publication in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology!

● 23/03/2017: A rare gynandromorph (female/male mosaic) spiny leaf insect found by Nathan Burke in his stocks:

● 1/01/2017: Nathan Burke has published a popular article on his research in Wildlife Australia.

● 20/12/2016: Our paper "Ontogenetic timing as a condition-dependent life history trait: high-condition males develop quickly, peak early and age fast" has been accepted for publication in Evolution. Congratulations to Amy, Foteini et al. on their excellent work!

● 13/12/2016: Congratulations to Ronda Lau, who has formally completed her Master's degree!

● 29/11/2016: End-of-year lab dinner

● 03/11/2016: Congratulations to Ronda Lau on final approval of her Masters thesis!

● 3/11/2016: Erin Macartney, Zac Wylde and Amy Hooper gave excellent talks at the Postgraduate Research Forum. Erin also won a prize in the baking competition. Well done!


● 26/10/2016: Congratulations to our collaborator (and former lab-member) Angela Crean on winning the prestigious L'Oreal Women in Science Fellowship!




● 13/10/2016: Matt Piper from Monash University is visiting and giving a talk on his work on dietary amino acids.



● 11/10/2016: Longina abdominalis, the mysterious neriid of São Paulo, has finally been captured (thanks to the efforts of Eduardo Santos of the Universidade de São Paulo and local amateur entomologist Rodrigo Lázaro). Males of this species have unusual morphology whose function is unknown. Perhaps we will soon have an answer.




● 5/10/2016: Neriids are featured on the cover of Functional Ecology:




● 25/08/2016: Russell gave a talk at Monash University.



● 17/08/2016: Russell gave a talk at Macquarie University.



● 15/08/2016: Our paper on the latent costs of high condition, by Margo Adler, Marco Telford and Russell, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.  



● 5/08/2016: Welcome to Associate Professor Liran Carmel from The Hebrew University, who will be joining our lab for his sabbatical.




● 2/08/2016: Amy Hooper participated in the Postgraduate Research Expo 1 min thesis competition, expertly summarizing two years of research in 60 s. Great work!




● 20/07/2016: Congratulations to Aidan Runagall-McNaull on winning an APA scholarship for PhD studies. Welcome back to the lab, Aidan!



● 8/06/2016: Ronda Lau gave an excellent Exit Seminar and Nathan Burke gave a superb research talk at the Postgraduate Research Forum.




● 8/06/2016: Nathan Burke and Erin Macartney won prizes in the BEES Bake-Off.




● 2/06/2016: Russell gave a talk on Sex and Ageing at the Shock Summit on Personalized Geroscience in Seattle, Washington, USA.




● 24/05/2016: Congratulations to Ronda Lau, whose MPhil thesis has passed examination pending minor corrections!



● 5/04/2016: Amy Hooper will be serving on the E&ERC Student Committee.



● 31/03/2016: Congratulations to Ronda Lau on submitting her Master's thesis!



● 15/03/2016: A paper on the role of seminal fluid in the evolution of mate choice by Angela Crean, Margo Adler and Russell in Trends in Ecology and Evolution is featured by National Geographic, theABC, Science Daily and other media.



● 14/03/2016: Erin Macartney is starting PhD studies. Welcome back!



● 4/03/2016: Long-time collaborator Troy Day (Queen's University, Canada) was here for a 10-day visit.



● 4/03/2016: Congratulations to Nathan Burke on winning the E&ERC Outstanding Evolution and Ecology Postgraduate Researcher Award!




● 22/01/2016: A paper on the nutritional geometry of parental effects by Aidan Runagall-McNaull, Angela Crean and Russell has been accepted for publication in Functional Ecology.



● 13/01/2016: Amy Hooper's paper on sperm allocation in squid (from her Honours) has just been published in Animal Behaviour. Her work is featured by Monash University News, and the Daily Mail (UK).



● 17/12/2015: Congratulations to Angela Crean on accepting a very prestigious postdoctoral fellowship position at the University of Sydney!



● 11/12/2015: Congratulations to Angela Crean on winning the UNSW Faculty of Science Early Career Research Excellence Award!




● 12/11/2015: End-of-year lab dinner




● 11/11/2015: Claire Santhaseelan and Kumudika Gunaratne gave their Honours Final Seminars.



● 05/11/2015: Amy Hooper and Zac Wylde gave talks at the Postgraduate Research Forum.



● Congratulations to Amy Hooper, whose first paper has been accepted for publication in Animal Behaviour!



● Congratulations to Nathan Burke on winning a place on the Australian team at the Linnaean Games, to be held at the 2016 meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Orlando, Florida, USA.




● 27-30/09/2015: Nathan Burke gave an invited talk on his research at the Australian Entomological Society meeting in Cairns.



● 18/09/2015: Russell served as "opponent" at Rob Griffin's PhD defense at Uppsala University, Sweden. Rob's thesis was on the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism, and he was supervised by Urban Friberg.




● 23/08/2015: Angela Crean gave an invited talk at the annual scientific meeting of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology in Adelaide.



● 21-22/08/2015: Angela Crean and Russell joined a group of collaborators from UNSW and the University of Sydney to ponder the evolution of pre-eclampsia.



● Congratulations to Nathan Burke on being runner-up for the 2015 Phil Carne Prize from the Australian Entomological Society for his recent paper in Animal Behaviour.



● 09-14/08/2015: Most of the lab presented their work at Behaviour2015 in Cairns, Qld.




● Congratulations to Erin Macartney on successfully completing her Masters degree!



● 22-25/06/2015: Field-work in Brazil (with Glauco Machado, Eduardo Santos and Solimary García Hernández from the Universidade de São Paulo).




● 26-30/06/2015: Amy Hooper, Foteini Spagopoulou and Russell presented talks at Evolution 2015 in Guarujá, Brazil.



● Congratulations to Nathan Burke on placing 1st in the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center's Evolution Film Festival with his video "Escaping the sex trap: Can female resistance promote the loss of sex?".




● Congratulations to Nathan Burke on his runner-up award for Best E&ERC Talk at the June Postgraduate Research Forum.



● Congratulations to former Honours student Aidan Runagall-McNaull, whose first paper has been accepted for publication in Scientific Reports



●Lab meeting 02/04/2015




● Evolution & Ecology Research Centre awards 2015: The paper in Ecology Letters by Angela Crean and co-authors won the High-impact Paper Award, and Russell won the Supervisor Excellence Award.



● Welcome to new Honours students Kumudika Gunaratne and Claire Santhaseelan.



● Congratulations to Erin and Ange, whose paper on imaging of sperm movement has been published in the journal Microscopy and Microanalysis.



● Congratulations to Nathan, whose first paper has been published in Animal Behaviour, and featured in NewScientist.



● Lab dinner 2014




● Congratulations to Ronda, Erin and Amy on their great talks at the recent Postgraduate Research Forum.



● Congratulations to Nathan Burke on winning the Crispin Rice Prize for Outreach and Communication in Evolution and Ecology!



● Research led by Angela Crean has shown for the first time that individuals can 'inherit' features from a previous mate of their mother who is not their genetic father. Featured by National Geographic, BBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, The Guardian,The Telegraph, The Washington Post, Science Daily, Esquire.



● Amy and Foteini set up a large experiment on male reproductive ageing in neriid flies.



● Nathan Burke's short film The Edge won first prize at the Footprints Eco-Film Festival.




●Lab Discussion Group (a.k.a. Cake Eating Group), 14/08/2014




● Congratulations to Erin Macartney and Angela Crean on their highly-acclaimed presentations at ISBE2014 in New York City.



● Margo Adler's paper on dietary restriction and ageing in BioEssays has been featured onUNSW News, ABC News,ScienceDaily, Medical News Today, Scientific American, and many other media.



● Thanks to Margo and Ange for the wonderful tie, which features spines on a beetle penis (dissected by Luis Cayetano). Finally, Russell owns a tie and can look respectable at special occasions.




● 6/11/2013: Congratulations to Oscar, Nathan and Aidan on their fantastic Honours exit seminars!



●Lab dinner 2013




● 30/10/2013: We celebrated the (near-) completion of Honours projects at our lab picnic above Coogee beach. It was a very hard day.



● 2/10/2013:  Most of the lab attended the Australasian Evolution Society meeting in Geelong, Vic. Nathan, Angela, Lára, Erin, Oscar and Aidan all gave excellent talks. We also encountered some of the local wildlife. Congratulations to Nathan on being chosen as runner-up for the Best Student Talk award!



● 13/09/2013: Russell gave a talk at the National University of Singapore.



● After their careers in research, some of Nathan Burke's stick insects retired to a good home at Tigger's Childcare. Apparently, they're very happy there.




● Angela Crean, Lára Hallsson and Margo Adler presented their work at the recent European Society for Evolutionary Biology meeting in Lisbon. Russell gave a talk at this year's Queenstown Research Week meeting on epigenetics in Queenstown, New Zealand.



● Welcome to visiting student Tsai-Ming Lu from the OIST Graduate School in Okinawa, Japan. On his first visit to the lab, Tsai-Ming was treated to Nathan's fabulous mealworm cookies.



● Congratulations to Angela Crean on being a National Finalist in Fresh Science 2013! After winning in the state finals, Ange headed to Melbourne to participate in the finals on 22 July.



● Ever wanted to know how to sniff a spiny leaf insect? Here's how it's done (all part of serious research by Nathan Burke on sexual conflict in facultatively asexual animals).



● Congratulations to Ange on her wedding!



● Congratulations to Margo Adler on winning the Outstanding Evolution and Ecology Thesis of 2012 award and the Crispin Rice Prize for Outreach and Communication in Evolution and Ecology! Margo received her awards at the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre awards ceremony on Friday, 8th of March.




● Welcome to new students Chris Allister, Nathan Burke, Oscar Lee, Erin Macartney and Aidan Runagall-McNaull.



● Congratulations to Elizabeth Cassidy on submission of her Masters thesis, and her excellent Exit Seminar



● Congratulations to Margo Adler on submission of her PhD thesis, and her highly successful Exit Seminar



● Russell has received an ARC Future Fellowship for 2012-2016



● Elizabeth Cassidy and Russell gave talks at the First Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Ottawa (July 6-11, 2012)



● Russell attended a meeting on the evolution of genomic imprinting at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, USA



● Angela Crean has received an ARC DECRA fellowship and grant  for 2012-14



● Eleanor Bath won the 2012 Rhodes Scholarship for PhD studies at Oxford University



● Margo Adler won the Best Talk award at a recent Postgraduate Research Forum



● Elizabeth Cassidy gave a talk at the 2011 meeting of the Australasian Evolution Society in Townsville


Ageing and Sexual Selection: How do males and females affect each other's life histories?

My research in the lab of Dr. Russell Bonduriansky aims to explore questions in the evolution of ageing -- How are key life history traits, such as lifespan and reproduction, affected by changes in the environment of an organism? What can these responses tell us about constraints, plasticity and fitness maximization strategies in shaping the process we know as "ageing"?

My main focus in answering these questions is on resource use over the lifetime. One way to think about ageing is as a dwindling pool of resources available to an organism. We can manipulate the size of this resource pool in both development and adulthood by offering varying amounts of nutrients to our animal of interest, a technique commonly known as dietary restriction. Dietary restriction studies allow us to uncover a wealth of information: When resources are scarce, which (non-essential) functions get cut first? If an organism is nutrient-deprived in development, what strategies might it pursue to make the best of the situation? And given that males and females tend to have very different resource needs at various life stages, and vastly different lifetime reproductive optima, how might life history responses to dietary restriction differ between the sexes? Taking it a step further, what happens when another important environmental parameter - the social environment - is altered? How might the sexes respond to a change in the number of available mates and competitors, and how might this response interact with responses to dietary restriction?

I am looking at these questions, among others, by conducting a series of laboratory experiments using a model organism, the neriid fly Telostylinus angusticollis. These flies are long-legged tree dwellers that aggregate, feed, and oviposit on rotting bark. We regularly supplement our lab stocks with flies from the wild, which we collect at a number of field sites in and around Sydney. The photo below, taken by Nori Kawasaki, a previous student in the lab, shows two males fighting for access to an oviposition site. Males that gain dominance at these sites have the opportunity to maximize their reproductive success by mating with the resident females, and so the position is highly coveted and often hard-won.

Photo Credit: Nori Kawasaki

I’ve also done some work during my PhD candidature on the evolution of female behaviour in waterfowl mating systems, human odour preferences and their potential role in mate choice, and (while visiting the lab of Dr. Alexei Maklakov in Uppsala, Sweden) male reproductive ageing in the nematode worm C. remanei. The photo on the right of me holding an orphaned baby African bushbuck was taken last year in Kenya, during a trip to collect a species of fruit fly from a metapopulation with suspected aberrant mitochondrial inheritance.

Supervisor - Dr Russell Bonduriansky

Co-Supervisor - Professor Rob Brooks

Margo was the Postgraduate Student Representative for BEES (2010 - 2012)


Adler M, Bonduriansky, R. 2011. The dissimilar costs of love and war: Age-specific mortality as a function of the operational sex ratio. Journal of Evolutionary Biology24: 1169-1177.

Adler M. 2010. Sexual conflict in waterfowl: Why do females resist extra-pair copulations? Behavioral Ecology21: 182-192.