Professor Andrew Austin

Professor Andrew Austin
 Position Associate Head of School - Research
 Org Unit Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
 Telephone +61 8 8313 8240
 Location Floor/Room G 12 ,  Darling ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Andy Austin is a key member of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity (ACEBB) at The University of Adelaide. His major research interests focus on the biology, systematics and molecular phylogenetics of parasitic wasps, the evolution of host-parasitoid interactions, and the biodiversity and phylogeography of groundwater arthropods. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Invertebrate Systematics, and is on the editorial boards of Systematic Entomology and Insect Systematics & Evolution.  He is a previous past president of the Australian Entomological Society, Society of Australian Systematic Biologists, and the International Society of Hymenopterists, and was a member of the Australian Biological Study Advisory Board (2002-07).


    Professor (level E), The University of Adelaide, 2002; Deputy-Director, Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity, The University of Adelaide, 2009-present; Director, Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity, 2000-08; Associate Professor, The University of Adelaide, 1996; Senior Lecturer, The University of Adelaide, 1992; Lecturer, The University of Adelaide, 1985; Higher Scientific Officer, Commonwealth Institute of Entomology, London, 1982; Research Associate, The University of Adelaide, 1981; Ph.D. Student, The University of Adelaide, 1978-81; Research Assistant, Zoology, The University of Sydney, 1977; Tutor, Zoology, The University of Sydney, 1977

    He is a senior research associate at the South Australian Museum and Western Australian Museum.


    Verco Medal for Scientific Research, Royal Society of South Australia, 2011; Inaugural Faculty of Sciences Distinguished Research Excellence Award 2008; International Society of Hymenopterists Service Award, 2006; Honorary Research Fellow, South Australian Museum, 2003; Whitley Award, Royal Zoological Society (N.S.W.) for best natural history text, 2002; President, Australian Entomological Society, 2000-02; President, International Society of Hymenopterists, 1999-2000; Inaugural President, Society of Australian Systematic Biologists, 1997-98; British Council, Partnerships for Excellence Travel Fellowship, 1997; Industry, Science & Tourism, Bilateral Science & Technology Collaboration Fellowship,1996; Stephen Cole The Elder Prize for Excellence in Teaching, The University of Adelaide, 1995; Supervisor of the Year, Postgraduate Students Association, The University of Adelaide, 1994; Ciba-Giegy Research Fellowship, 1985; Anglo-Canadian Exchange Fellowship, Royal Society, London, 1984; William Culross Prize for best PhD thesis in the Sciences, The University of Adelaide, 1982.

  • Qualifications

    BSc (Hons), The University of Sydney, 1977.


    PhD, The University of Adelaide, 1982, Awarded the William Culross Prize.

  • Teaching Interests

    Undergraduate teaching

    Evolution & Diversity of Insects III (semester 1); Issues in Evolutionary Biology III (course convenor, semester 2); Evolutionary Biology II (course convenor, semester 2)

    Current postgraduate students and projects

    Sophie Harision, 2012 (principal supervisor). Thesis “Systematics and phylogeography of idiopid trapdoor spiders”.

    Rebecca Kittel, 2010 (principal supervisor). Thesis “Systematics of Australian microgastroid braconid wasps”.

    Mohammad Javidkar, 2010 (co-supervisor ) Thesis “Systematics and biogeographic history of troglobitic isopods in Western Australia”.

    Katherine Sparks, 2008 (principal supervisor). Thesis " Molecular systematics and ecology of the Monomorium rothsteini species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)”.

    Nick Stevens, 2004 (principal supervisor). Thesis "Systematics of Australian Agathidinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)".  

    Alejandro Velasco, 2009 (co-supervisor) Thesis “Molecular studies on the origins and dispersal patterns of invertebrates in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic”.


  • Research Interests

    Major research interests include:

    1) the biology, systematics and molecular phylogenetics of parasitic wasps

    2) the evolution of host-parasitoid interactions

    3) the biodiversity and phylogeography of groundwater arthropods.


    Dr Kym Abrams, Project: Systematics and phylogeography of subterranean animal.

    Dr Michelle Guzik, Project: Phylogeography of subterranean animals from calcrete aquifers in central Western Australia.

    Dr Kate Muirhead, Project: Phylogeography and host specificity of stemborer parasitoids; essential components for the pre-emptive biocontrol of sugarcane pests in Australia.

    Dr Mike Rix, Project: Phylogenetics and biogepraphy of idiopid trapdoor spiders.

    Dr Gary Taylor, Project: Systematics and coevolution of insect herbivores on casuarinas: testing phylogenetic congruence for selection of plant biocontrol agents.



    S.J. Cooper, W.F. Humphreys & A.D. Austin, Project Title “Is regressive evolution associated with loss of gene function in subterranean animals? Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant (2012-14)

    A.D. Austin, M.G. Rix (APDI), M.S. Harvey, & S.J. Cooper, Project Title “Evolution and biogeography of Australian idiopid trapdoor spiders: implications for conservation biology and environmental assessment” Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant (2012-14)

    J.M. Facelli, A.D. Austin, S.J. Cooper, M.I. Stevens & R.Faast (APDI), Project Title “Effects of fire on the reproductive ecology of terrestrial orchids and on their pollinators in fragmented landscapes of southern Australia” Australia.” Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant (2012-14)

    A.D. Austin, S.J.B. Cooper, W.F. Humphreys, M.S. Harvey & M.I. Stevens, Project Title “Biodiversity and population genetics of groundwater calcrete ecosystems of central Western Australia.” Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant (2010-13)

    G.S.  Taylor, J.T. Jennings & A.D. Austin, Project Title: Systematics and host associations of Australian psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea). Australian Biological Resources Study (2010-13)

    A.D. Austin, P.G. Allsopp & N. Sallam, Project Title: The phylogeography and host specificity of stemborer parasitoids: essential components for the pre-emptive biocontrol of sugarcane pests in Australia. Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant (2009-12)

    A.D. Austin, J.T. Jennings, M.F. Prucell & N.A. Schellhorn, Project Title: Systematics and coevolution of insect herbivores on casuarinas: testing phylogenetic congruence for selection of plant biocontrol agents. Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant (2007-10)

    N.P. Murphy, A.D. Austin & M.A. Adams, Project Title: Evolution of the unique fauna of the Great Artesian Basin mound springs: the impact of aridification and climate change. Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant (2007-10)

    N.F. Johnson & A.D. Austin, Project Title: PBI: Diversity and the parasitoid life history strategy of the superfamily Platygastroidea (Hymenoptera). National Science Foundation, Planetary Biodiversity Inventory Program (2006-12)

  • Publications

    Dowton, M. & A.D. Austin (1994) Molecular phylogeny of the insect order Hymenoptera - apocritan relationships. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 19: 9911-9915.

    Dowton. M. & A.D. Austin (1999) Evolutionary dynamics of a gene rearrangement 'hotspot' in the hymenoptera mitochondrial genome. Molecular Biology & Evolution 16: 298-309.

    Belshaw, R., M. Dowton, D.L.J. Quicke & A.D Austin (2000) Estimating ancestral geographic distributions: a Gondwanan origin for the aphid parasitoids. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B 267: 491-96.

    Dowton, M. & A.D. Austin (2001) Simultaneous analysis of 16S, 28S, COI and morphology in the Hymenoptera: Apocrita - evolutionary transitions among parasitic wasps. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 74: 87-111.

    Dowton, M. & A.D. Austin (2002) Increased congruence does not necessarily indicate increased phylogenetic accuracy - the behavior of the incongruence length difference test in mixed-model analyses. Systematic Biology 51: 19-31.

    Dowton, M., L.R. Castro, & A.D. Austin (2002) Mitochondrial gene rearrangements as phylogenetic characters in the invertebrates: the examination of genome 'morphology'. Invertebrate Systematics 16:345-356.

    Whitfield, J.B., P. Mardulyn, A.D. Austin & M. Dowton (2002) Phylogeny of the Microgastinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) based on multiple genes and morphology. Systematic Entomology 27: 337-359.

    Dowton, M., L.R. Castro, S.L. Campbell, S.D.Bargon & A.D. Austin (2003) Frequent mitochondrial gene rearrangments at the hymenopteran nad3-nad5 junction. Journal of Molecular Evolution 56: 517-526.

    Austin, A.D., N.F. Johnson & M. Dowton (2005) Systematics, evolution and biology of scelionid and platygastrid wasps. Annual Review of Entomology 50: 553-582.

    Moulds, T.A., N.P. Murphy, M. Adams, T. Reardon, M.S. Harvey & A.D. Austin (2007) Phylogeography of cave pseudoscorpions in Australia. Journal of Biogeography 34: 951-962.

    Murphy, N.P., D. Carey, L. Castro, M. Dowton & A.D. Austin (2007) Phylogeny of the platygastroid wasps (Hymenoptera) based on sequences from the 18S rRNA , 28S rRNA and CO1 genes: implications for classification and the evolution of host relationships. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 91:653-669.

    Cooper, S.J.B., K.M. Saint, S. Taiti, A.D. Austin & W.F. Humphreys (2008) Subterranean archipelago II: mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of stygobitic isopods (Haloniscus and Andricophiloscia) from the Yilgarn region of Western Australia. Invertebrate Systematics 22: 195-203.

    Dowton, M., S.L. Cameron, J.I. Dowavic, A.D. Austin & M.F. Whiting (2009) Characterisation of 67 mitochondrial tRNA gene rearrangements in the Hymenoptera suggests that mitochondrial tRNA gene position is selectively neutral. Molecular Biology & Evolution 26:1607-1617.

    Krogmann, L., A.D. Austin & I.D. Naumann (2009) Systematics and biogeography of Australian rhopalosomatid wasps (Hymenoptera: Rhopalosomatidae) with a global synopsis of the enigmatic genus Olixon Cameron. Systematic Entomology 34: 222-251.

    Murphy, N., M. Adams & A.D. Austin (2009) Colonisation and extensive cryptic speciation of freshwater amphipods in the isolated groundwater springs of Australia's Great Artesian Basin. Molecular Ecology 18:109-122.

    Bradford, T., M. Adams, W.F. Humphreys, A.D. Austin & S.J.B. Cooper (2010) DNA barcoding of stygofauna uncovers cryptic amphipod diversity in a calcrete aquifer in Western Australia’s arid zone. Molecular Ecology Resources 10: 41-50.

  • Professional Associations

    Membership of Professional Societies:

    Australian Entomological Society

    Entomological Society of America

    International Society of Hymenopterists

    Royal Entomological Society

    Royal Society of South Australia

    Society of Australian Systematic Biologists

    Society of Systematic Biologists.

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Entry last updated: Friday, 24 Aug 2018

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