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HomeCouncilDr Chris dives deep into the leaf litter

Dr Chris dives deep into the leaf litter

BOOK NOW for a workshop, talk or walk to discover the rainforest’s Tiny Giants for yourself – October 21–24.

Meet Dr Chris Burwell from Queensland Museum. This October he’ll be one of the twelve scientists helping to fill in the knowledge gaps about the insects, spiders and other invertebrates that call Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve home, as part of Tiny Giants.

What research will you be doing?

I’ll be searching for and collecting ants from lots of different habitats; in leaf litter, on the ground, under rocks, inside rotten logs and on tree trunks and leaves.

In my spare time I’ll also be collecting and photographing dragonflies and damselflies.

Why is your research important?

Ants are a very useful group of insects for environmental monitoring because they are abundant, there are lots of species, and they are sensitive to climatic changes and habitat disturbance.

What will you do with the research after the event?

I’ll be comparing the ant species of Mary Cairncross Reserve with those of other rainforests in areas of south-eastern Queensland. The ant fauna progressively changes from the lowland to highland rainforest; as you move up in elevation some ant species drop out and different ones appear. This makes ants a very useful group to track the impacts of climate change.

BOOK NOW for a workshop, talk or walk to discover the rainforest’s Tiny Giants for yourself – October 21–24.

Austroargiolestes icteromelas Gold Dr Chris Burwell.

About Dr Chris Burwell

Dr Chris is the Senior Curator of Entomology at the Queensland Museum.

Chris Burwell joined the Queensland Museum in 1995 and is Senior Curator of insects and also has a 20 per cent co-appointment with Griffith University where he is a lecturer in the Griffith School of Environment.

Chris’ research interests focus on the taxonomy, biology and ecology of Hymenoptera, the bees, wasps and especially ants. He also has expertise and a keen interest in dragonflies and damselflies and the diet and foraging ecology of insectivorous vertebrates.

Twelve scientists joining in the research project

  • Dr Christine Lambkin (QM Curator of Entomology)
  • Dr Chris Burwell (QM Senior Curator of Insects)
  • Dr Mike Rix (QM Principal Curator of Arachnology)
  • Kathryn Ebert (Postdoctural researcher at University of Queensland)
  • Owen Seeman (QM Collection Manager of Arachnids)
  • Dr Penny Mills (Entomological Society of Queensland)
  • Chris Moeseneder (Research Associate, Australian Museum)
  • Jessa Thurman (PhD candidate University of Queensland)
  • Dr Jason Maté (Entomological Society of Queensland)
  • Dr Andrew Maynard ( Entomological Society of Queensland)
  • Wesley Jenkinson (Entomological Society of Queensland)
  • Dr Vivian Sandoval Gomèz ( Honorary Research Fellow of the Queensland)

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