David Field


  • Associate Professor in Applied BioSciences (Technical, Industry or Commercial), Applied BioSciences
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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an Associate Professor in evolutionary genomics, plant biology and molecular ecology at Applied Biosciences at Macquarie University. My research focuses on ‘Wild Plant Genomics’ - connecting traits related to fitness with their underlying genes in relevant ecological scenarios for basic and applied research. The goals range from understanding the processes underlying adaptation and speciation, identifying the genetic and biochemical basis of functional traits, to addressing practical challenges in the restoration of threatened plants and improving productivity and resilience of commercially or ecologically important native plants – issues of immense importance for evolutionary ecology and conservation biology, horticulture and global food security.

Some currently active projects include (see links for more detail):

  • Flower colour evolution: unlocking the genetic and biochemical potential of kangaroo paws for horticulture and conservation
  • Genetic Rescue : Back from the brink- Integrating ecology, genetic and evolutionary rescue to restore threatened plant populations (e.g. Conospermum, Grevilleas, Eucalyptus)
  • Super Seed for adaptive potential of threatened plants: ecological and evolutionary genetic approaches for locating adaptive variability to cope with a changing climate and altered fire regimes.
  • Native seed production areas: Building resilient Seed Production Areas in a changing world using genetic and ecological tools.
  • Speciation, hybrid zones and fitness landscapes: using long term pedigrees, ecological and evolutionary genomic approaches to understand barriers to gene flow and heritability of fitness in Snapdragon, Kangaroo paw and Eucalytpus hybrid zones.

I use an integrative approach, combining whole genomic sequencing, large scale ecological experiments, quantitative genetics, eDNA, and evolutionary modelling. My work frequently involves partnerships with industry and government. Other research topics include plant mating systems, polyploidy, pollinator behaviour and buzz pollination.

If you are a prospective Masters, PhD student or seeking a Postdoctoral fellowship and find any of my research areas of interest, please contact me via email. 

Education/Academic qualification

Biology, PhD, University of Wollongong

1 Jun 200215 Jan 2008

Award Date: 1 Jun 2008

Biology, • B. Sc. Biology (Honours - 1st Class), University of Wollongong

Award Date: 1 Mar 2002

External positions

Senior Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup

18 Jun 201926 Jun 2023

Assistant Professor, University of Vienna

1 Oct 20161 Jun 2019

Research Fellow, Institute of Science and Technology Austria

1 Sept 201130 Sept 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto

1 Aug 200814 Jul 2011

Postdoctoral Fellow, CSIRO

15 Jan 200831 Jul 2008


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