Dr Stephen Cameron: using molecular methods to understand insect relationships
Dr Cameron's research focuses on the evolution of the mitochondrial genome and its use as a phylogenetic data source for understanding insect relationships.
26 February 2007 | Updated 13 November 2012
Dr Cameron is a molecular systematist. He has worked on insect genomics for the last five years and is responsible for over 66 per cent of the insect mitochondrial genomes which have been sequenced including examples of all insect orders.
Dr Cameron's work is directed at understanding:
- deep level evolution within insects
- the relationships between the insect orders, and within the large insect orders, flies, beetles, moths and wasps.
This work has also:
- looked at developing experimental methods for molecular diagnostics for pest insect species
- contributed to theoretic approaches to molecular diagnostics (in opposition to blind DNA barcoding efforts).
A major study area within this program has been to understand the heightened rate of genome evolution within lice. This has covered many areas including:
Dr Cameron is responsible for over 66 per cent of the insect mitochondrial genomes that have been sequenced.
- using genome rearrangements as phylogenetic characters
- developing new genetic markers for species level phylogenetics within lice
- understanding the nuclear genes responsible for genome maintenance.
Dr Cameron did his doctoral studies on the symbiotic ciliate protozoa of kangaroos and wallabies, presenting it in 2000.
In 2001 he did a short period of postdoctoral work on the symbiotic protozoa of termites.
From 2002 to the present he worked on mitochondrial genome evolution in insects initially, in 2002, at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, then at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA, 2003-06.
He is currently continuing this work at Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC).
Dr Cameron has been awarded a:
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours
- Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Queensland.
Dr Cameron has been awarded a prize for the best doctoral thesis presented between 1999 and 2002.
Dr Cameron was awarded the JAF Sprent Prize of the Australian Society for Parasitology, the top student award of this society.
Find out more about the Australian National Insect Collection.