Associate Professor Mike Gardner

  • 2469 Citations
  • 25 h-Index
1994 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Biography

My vision is to study the intricacies of the natural world to instil others with a sense of awe and wonder so that they gain a sense of place - and are ultimately inspired to look after this world.

My vision has been pervasive in my career thus far. I obtained my degree at QUT in Brisbane, and worked on a highly polymorphic intertidal snail during my honours, investigating the relationship of shell morph to background. I then worked with Dr Bob Ward (CSIRO Marine Labs) for 2 1/2 years in Hobart where I looked at population genetic structure in school and gummy sharks. I came to Flinders University to study a PhD in a genetic investigation of sociality in a group living lizard with the late Prof. Mike Bull - after which I spent 3 1/2 years in England studying co-evolution between parasitic hoverflies and their host ants with Jeremy Thomas, Karsten Schonrogge and the late Graham Elmes.

However I was drawn back to Australia and its great lizard diversity - I returned to Adelaide for a two year postdoc with Flinders Biological Sciences where I linked Flinders and the South Australian Regional Facility for Molecular Ecology and Evolution. I am currently an Associate Professor in Biodiversity at Flinders University and retain links with the South Australian Museum.

Research Interests

My research is aimed at investigating the maintenance of genetic diversity in natural populations, especially how fine scale processes affect broader evolutionary patterns. I use molecular genetic and genomic techniques to answer ecological questions around this theme. Much of my work revolves around co-evolutionary questions within host parasite interactions.

Host and Parasite Co-evolution

I am using lizards within the Egernia group to understand the role of immune gene loci (MHC) in social structuring and interation with parasites. The study species include Tiliqua rugosa, Egernia stokesii, Tiliqua adelaidensis

Evolution of Socaility

The lizards of the Egernia group have a variety of social systems which make them excellent models to understand how sociality has evolved independantly in this group which can provide insights into our own social species


The pygmy bluetongue lizard is an endangerd species endemic to South Australia. My group is using tranlocation as a means to mitigate the effects of climate change which is predicted to rescrict the species range and make northern populations uninhabitable

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Research Output

Allopatric divergence drives the genetic structuring of an endangered alpine endemic lizard with a sky-island distribution

Atkins, Z. S., Amor, M. D., Clemann, N., Chapple, D. G., While, G. M., Gardner, M. G., Haines, M. L., Harrisson, K. A., Schroder, M. & Robert, K. A., 1 Feb 2020, In : Animal Conservation. 23, 1, p. 104-118 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
  • Consistent individual differences in ecto-parasitism of a long-lived lizard host

    Payne, E., Sinn, D. L., Spiegel, O., Leu, S. T., Wohlfeil, C., Godfrey, S. S., Gardner, M. & Sih, A., 1 Jul 2020, In : Oikos. 129, 7, p. 1061-1071 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Co-occupancy of spider-engineered burrows within a grassland community changes temporally

    Clayton, J., Gardner, M. G., Fenner, A. L. & Bull, M., 1 Jun 2020, In : Austral Ecology. 45, 4, p. 454-459 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Editorial for the Michael Bull special issue

    Gardner, M. G., Godfrey, S. S. & Wapstra, E., 1 Jun 2020, In : Austral Ecology. 45, 4, p. 407-409 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)