David began his research in microbial ecology through an Honours project with Professor Mike Taylor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. After completing a PhD thesis studying the gut microbiome of New Zealand's iconic kakapo, he spent two years working for the Ministry for Primary Industries where he developed diagnostic tests for invasive organisms. Recently inspired to return to fundamental research, David travelled the globe to land in Brisbane where he is now a part of the Tree of Life team.
As part of this project David works to revise and improve bacterial systematics, using the wealth of bacterial genomic data to better inform our understanding of bacterial taxonomy. A secondary objective of this project is to also understand the evolution of genomic features and key functional pathways across the prokaryotes, and to provide explanations for the patterns of functional variation seen across this diverse grouping. Ultimately, David aims to contribute towards a framework that allows researchers to make informed hypotheses for understanding the mechanisms through which microbes either obey or defy existing ecological paradigms.
2015: PhD in Biological Science, University of Auckland
2011: Bachelor of Science with Honours (First Class), University of Auckland