James Cook University
Research Field: Evolution
How new species arise is a fundamental question in biology because it is the process that creates biodiversity. Dr Higgie’s research focuses on how species interactions can drive divergence in mate choice between populations, and how this leads to new species. Her most important contributions thus far have been the first experimental demonstrations that species interactions do indeed cause (i) the evolution and divergence of mate choice, and (ii) the evolution of new species.
Megan has taught thousands of students at UQ, ANU, and JCU how to understand and think about genetics and evolution, and how these ideas reveal the world around us. She has also spoken about her research to school children, and is currently organizing a workshop at JCU for senior high school students to learn about genetics and evolution. Her research has been reported on in The Australian, the New York Times, and New Scientist. Megan also initiated and runs the main web-based information page for evolutionary biologists in Australia, followed on Facebook by over 300 people.