We are interested in how coevolutionary processes drive change at a variety of scales and systems, including coevolution between hosts and parasites, between plants and pollinators and between the different genomes of a eukaryotic cell.

Current projects in this space include:

  • Host-parasite dynamics between honey bees, Varroa mites and viruses (Emily Remnant, James Damayo, Rebecca McKee)
  • Mito-nuclear coevolution as a driver of speciation (Ros Gloag, Genevieve Law)
  • Coevolution of hosts and their brood parasites (Ros Gloag)

Bee health & breeding

Bees are vital to Australian food security, via their role as crop pollinators. Honey bees are also the basis of our honey industry. We work on a range of projects that aim to benefit Australian bees and the industries that rely on them.

Current projects in this space include:

  • Discovery of Bee-friendly pesticides to control Varroa and small hive beetles (Emily Remnant)
  • Plan Bee: A sustainable national genetic improvement program using innovative breeding technologies (Nadine Chapman)
  • Antiviral immunity in honey bees (Emily Remnant)
  • Impacts of parasites on stingless bee colony health (Ros Gloag)
  • Improved propagation methods for Australian stingless bees (Ros Gloag)

Invasive species: ecology and biosecurity

Invasive species can cause havoc to native ecosystems. They are also sometimes powerful systems for understanding how populations rapidly adapt to new environments or new hosts, how they overcome genetic bottlenecks or other population genetic constraints, and how they respond to new pathogens.

Current projects in this space include:

  • Ecology and evolution of invasive Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) in Far North Queensland and other parts of the Austral-Pacific (Ros Gloag, Thomas Hagan)
  • Impact of invasive parasites on the viral landscape of honey bees (Emily Remnant)

Bees as pollinators

Bees are essential pollinators in natural ecosystems as well as agricultural ones. Conserving Australia’s wild bee populations is therefore essential for conserving biodiversity more broadly. Australia’s bees also provide amazing opportunities to better understand pollination ecology, the evolution of pollinator behaviour and the response of insects to environmental change.

Current projects in this space include:

  • Adaptation and response of Australian native bees to climate change (Ros Gloag, Inez Vlasich-Brennan)
  • The evolution of generalist pollination systems in Australian native flora (Ros Gloag, Georgie Brennan)


To see publications from the lab, you can visit our Staff Profile pages or Google Scholar pages: see People tab.