Dr Chris Burwell is the Senior Curator of Insects at Queensland Museum and has a 20 per cent co-appointment with Griffith University where he is a lecturer at Griffith’s School of Environment.
Chris received his entomological training at The University of Queensland where he graduated with an Honours degree and was awarded the prestigious University medal in 1988 and a PhD in 1995.
Chris’ research interests focus on the taxonomy, biology and ecology of Hymenoptera, bees, wasps and ants. He specialises in ants and minute parasitic wasps (Chalcidoidea).
Current research projects include investigating the potential of ants as bio-indicators of climate change in the subtropical rainforest of Lamington National Park (as part of the IBISCA Queensland project). In collaboration with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Chris and Dr Aki Nakamura are assessing the impacts of invasive ants on the insects and spiders of coral cays in the southern Great Barrier Reef.
Chris has an ongoing research interest in the diet of insectivorous vertebrates and the co-evolution of insects and their predators. This work is mostly carried out in collaboration with Dr Chris Pavey from the Northern Territory Government. Recent work on this topic has focused on the diet of endangered central Australian mammals including the Southern marsupial-mole, Brush-tailed mulgara, and Kowari.