Angela McGaughran

Research background

I completed my PhD in late 2009, working on phylogeography and ecophysiology of Antarctic invertebrates at Massey University.  I then completed a ~4-year post-doc at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany, focusing on nematode population genomics.  In 2014, I moved to Canberra to work at CSIRO, where I worked on comparative genomics of the moth genus, Helicoverpa. In 2016, I crossed the road to start my DECRA fellowship here at ANU.  

Current research interests

I am primarily interested in combining genomic and ecological approaches to examine evolutionary processes in natural populations. My DECRA involves extracting DNA from very old (> 100 yrs) specimens of H. armigera, a pest moth that costs millions of dollars in management and crop yield losses globally. These older specimens were collected in Australia before the use of insecticides. By comparing their genomic sequences to those of modern day samples that are resistant to insecticides, I am examining the mechanisms underlying rapid evolution of insecticide resistance. I also have several collaborative projects at ANU and CSIRO, focusing on using genomics to understand how organisms adapt to different environments.   

What do you enjoy most about research

Throughout my research career, I have been fortunate to spend time in some exotic places, including the sub-Antarctic and Antarctica, and I've gotta say, you just can't beat writing up your thesis while watching the whales go by! I also enjoy the autonomy of driving my own research, as well as working with others to see projects through to fruition.