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Conservation Genetics Lab

Dr Adam Stow

Senior Lecturer Biology, Macquarie University

Building E8A: Room 330 (access via E8A Room 321)

Phone: +61 2 9850 8153

Dr Adam StowAt about age three I was fortunate enough to help care for a blue tongue lizard, an experience which helped spark a life-long interest in the environment and conservation. I enjoy travelling and have explored a range of marine and terrestrial environments worldwide, though I’m particularly drawn to tropical and desert environments. When close to the coast I find any excuse to go diving, regardless of the season. Away from the coast I am often found peeking under bits of bark, logs or even around rubbish tips in search of animals, especially reptiles. I completed my BSc at Sydney University in 1992, after which followed more travelling, a stint as an environmental educator in a zoo and the completion of a Diploma in Education through Charles Sturt University in 1996. My PhD was completed in 2003 and involved reptiles, population genetics and conservation issues. This was carried out at Macquarie University, under the supervision of David Briscoe and Paul Sunnucks.

Research Interests

My research is directed towards three broad themes, conservation genetics, evolutionary processes and molecular ecology and most projects contain elements from each of these. During my career in biology I have focused my attention on animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate in both marine and terrestrial environments. I have found molecular markers to be invaluable tools and I apply their use to most of my questions. Interests in marine biology include genetic structuring and dispersal patterns in sharks, including grey nurse shark and gummy sharks along with work on the Australian Sealion. Research themes in the terrestrial environment include functional genomics and behavioural ecology, antimicrobial defense and the evolution of sociality and climate change and conservation in Australia’s arid regions. Terrestrial organisms studied include numerous species of reptile, a few mammals and birds and several invertebrate taxa including beetles, wasps, bees and thrips. Just about all of my work is collaborative; most of my regular research companions can be identified in my publication list.

People around a tree



Convene and Lecture BIOL 206 Genetics (Macquarie University).


I convened, developed course material and lectured for BIOL 360 Biology of Australasian Vertebrates and co-directed with A. Prof Rob Harcourt the program of study for Masters of Wildlife Conservation which includes direct responsibility for 4 units: BIOL 860 Wildlife Project; BIOL 861 Management of Australasian vertebrates; BIOL 865 World Conservation Biology; BIOL 866 Technologies in Wildlife Management (now discontinued)


Convener and Lecturer for GSE 804 Ecological Processes (Macquarie University); Lecturer GSE 803 Environmental Management (Macquarie University); Lecturer BIOL 334 Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics (Macquarie University); Convener and Lecturer for BIOL 245 Tropical Marine Ecosystems, taught at University South Pacific, Suva, Fiji (Macquarie University).

Selected Publications

Stow AJ, Beattie AJ (2008) Invited mini review; Fighting disease in insect societies. Journal of Brain, Behaviour and Immunity 22: 1009-1013.

Stow AJ, Briscoe DA, Gillings M, Holley M, Smith S, Leys R, Silberbauer T, Turnbull C, Beattie AJ (2007) Antimicrobial defenses increase with sociality in bees. Biology Letters 3: 422-424

Stow AJ, Zenger K, Gillings M, Peddemors, Briscoe DA, Harcourt R (2006) Isolation and genetic diversity of endangered Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) populations. Biology Letters 2: 308-311.

Stow AJ, Sunnucks P (2004) Inbreeding avoidance in Cunningham’s skinks (Egernia cunninghami) in natural and fragmented habitat. Molecular Ecology 13: 443-447.

Stow AJ, Sunnucks P, Briscoe DA, Gardner MG (2001) The impact of habitat fragmentation on dispersal of Cunningham’s skink Egernia cunninghami: evidence from allelic and genotypic analyses of microsatellites. Molecular Ecology 10: 867-878.

For my complete publication list please visit: Complete Publication list


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