Associate Professor Mike Gardner

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1994 …2024

Research activity per year

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


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Ecology and conservation

Supervisory Interests

  • Molecular ecology
  • Molecular evolution
  • Lizard conservation, ecology and behaviour
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Animal ecology, lizards, sleepy lizards, ticks


Dive into the research topics where Mike Gardner is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or