RSB Director's Seminar: RSB Futures from the perspective of an evolutionary biologist

RSB is a strong institution and our science and teaching is highly regarded nationally and internationally. But there is no room for complacency. Biological sciences continue to develop rapidly in scope and complexity. In Australia in particular, there is strong emphasis on combining fundamental research with translation to address major challenges presented by disease, rapid environmental change and pressures on food security. And there is fierce competition with other Australian universities to attract the best students and researchers and, of course, external funding.

In this seminar I will provide a personal view on where RSB is at now and how we can respond to ongoing challenges and opportunities for research, mentoring of EMCRs and research-led teaching. I will focus on the value of cross-divisional activities as a complement to discipline-specific research, based on recent examples and proposed research foci. Finally to stimulate discussion, I will outline my priorities as I look forward to the next 3 years as RSB Director.

Craig Moritz did his undergraduate at University of Melbourne (1976-1979), where he developed his passion for evolutionary biology. For his PhD at ANU (1980-1985), he studied chromosome evolution and speciation in arid zone lizards, along the way discovering all-female reproduction in Heteronotia binoei. Then he moved across the Pacific Ocean for a postdoc at University of Michigan (1985-1988; mitochondrial DNA and evolution of parthenogenesis), before returning to a faculty position at The University of Queensland (1988-2000), including a stint as Head of School. From 2000-2012 he was Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley. From mid 2012 he happily settled at EEG/RSB as a Professor and ARC Laureate Fellow. Craig is the Director of the Research School of Biology and the joint ANU-CSIRO-UC Centre for Biodiversity Analysis.