• 2 Citations
  • 1 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Donald is a physical/analytical chemist with a particular interest in characterising the physical chemistry of insect pheromones, attractants, repellents and toxicants, as well as other natural products that mediate insect behaviour, to enable improved formulation of lure, traps and other management tools. He uses his instrument expertise to identify, quantify and characterise molecules that are of biological significance to insect pests with the ultimate goal of bioprospecting for the starting points of novel and effective pest management tools


Donald was born and raised in Switzerland. After completing his high school certificate in 2008 he decided to pack his bags and commence his Bachelor of Science with a major in Chemistry at Macquarie University in 2009. As a very successful junior in swimming, he sought to chase his sporting ambitions in the country from which his role models originated from. Macquarie University gave him the flexibility to train hard and study well, so that he graduated in 2012.

He then enrolled in the university's new Masters of Research degree and discovered his keen interest in scientific instrumentation and atmospheric chemistry. 2013 and 2014 were very good years for his sporting career too. He represented Switzerland at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia in 2013, and was a finalist at the 2014 World Cup in Singapore. By the end of 2014 he also submitted his Masters thesis titled "Method Development for PILS-IC for Large Volume Environmental Chamber Experiments on Amine-based Aerosol" and was offered a PhD scholarship.

From 2015 to 2019 he carefully worked on investigating chemicals important for Bactrocera fruit fly control. By 2016, the time requirements for the PhD project meant that after a very successful 15 years, Donald had to step away from swimming. In 2019 he submitted his PhD thesis titled "Investigation into Deployment, Dispersal and Transformation of Chemicals Important to Fruit Fly Control". He then started working as a swim coach and as a research assistant for the Phil Taylor lab.

As of 2019, he is a full-time staff member of the Phil Taylor group and is in charge of instrument set-up, instrument maintenance, and sample preparation and analysis for GCMS and insect respirometry. He continuously seeks to broaden his technical knowledge on analytical techniques relevant for quantifying chemicals important for pest control.

Education/Academic qualification

Physical Chemistry/Chemical Ecology, PhD, Macquarie University

Apr 2015Apr 2019

Atmospheric Chemistry, Masters of Research (Biomolecular Sciences), Macquarie University

Feb 2013Dec 2014

Chemistry, Bachelor of Science (Chemistry Major), Macquarie University

Feb 2009Dec 2012

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Research Outputs

  • 2 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 2 Article

Evidence for a shift in defence driving the invasion success of Acacia longifolia in Australia

Manea, A., Tabassum, S., Carthey, A. J. R., Cameron, D. N. S. & Leishman, M. R., Jun 2019, In : Biological Invasions. 21, 6, p. 2211-2220 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Development of a new smog chamber for studying the impact of different UV lamps on SAPRC chemical mechanism predictions and aerosol formation

    White, S., Angove, D., Li, K., Campbell, I., Element, A., Halliburton, B., Lavrencic, S., Cameron, D., Jamie, I. & Azzi, M., 2018, In : Environmental Chemistry. 15, 3, p. 171-182 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)