Personal details

Associate Professor Matthew Phillips
Associate Professor
Science and Engineering Faculty,
School of Biology & Environmental Science
Discipline *
Evolutionary Biology, Zoology
+61 7 3138 4805
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Identifiers and profiles

PhD (Massey University)

Professional memberships
and associations

Proffesional memberships:

  • Society of Systematic Biologists
  • The Australian Mammal Society

Keywords: Marsupials, Monotremes, Phylogenetics, Evolutionary biology


Evolutionary Biology, Marsupials, Monotremes, Phylogenetics

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Much of my earlier research focused on developing phylogenetic methods to resolve evolutionary relationships, usually among mammals or birds. Although I continue this work, my research now primarily involves using molecular and morphological phylogeny to infer macroevolutionary patterns and processes. I am particularly interested in integrating data from DNA sequences, ecology and fossils to better understand the origins and maintenance of mammalian biodiversity. Other long-term interests include inferring how dinosaurs and their extinction influenced the evolution of birds and mammals and understanding evolutionarily stable niche discontinuities between species and their impact on evolvability.
Research Interests

  • Phylogenetic methods
  • Ancient DNA
  • Understanding the origins and maintenance of biodiversity among Australian mammals
  • Extinction and survival around the Cretaceous/Palaeogene (aka K/T boundary)
  • Modelling ecological niche evolution

Past positions
Australian National University – ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Research School of Biology
Massey University, New Zealand – Postdoctoral Fellow at the Allan Wilson Center for Molecular Ecology & Evolution and Lecturer in the Ecology Department
University of Oxford, UK – Postdoctoral Researcher at the Ancient Biomolecules Centre

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Matthew Phillips.


Evolutionary Biology, Zoology

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Matthew Phillips.



Current supervisions

  • Applying best-practice detection strategies in threatened small mammal conservation: a case study using endangered antechinuses
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Andrew Baker
  • Conservation biology of threatened native olives (genus Notelaea) in southern Queensland
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Susan Fuller
  • The comparative utility of three-dimensional geometric versus traditional morphometrics in species-level taxonomy of small mammals: a case study revising the genus Pseudantechinus
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Andrew Baker
  • Biogeographic histories and evolutionary relationships among Australian Bactrocera fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Anthony Clarke
  • Using Phylogenetic Methods to Reconstruct the Ancestral Relationships of Bats and Birds: Resolving the Timing of Bat Evolution, Comparing Diversification Rate and Ancestral Character Traits
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Stuart Parsons