Researcher biography

Since I didn’t really know what to do after finishing school, I started an undergrad degree in biology and psychology on a whim (Bielefeld University, Germany). Halfway through, I became hooked on science aided by reading The Selfish Gene and The Invention of Nature, and my BSc thesis was on early incubation in a small European songbird (blue tit). After my BSc, I did internships in Colombia collecting behavioural data on spider monkeys and on Tenerife conducting parrot cognition experiments (where I learned the undisputable fact that great green macaws are the coolest of animals). 

Because I felt that evolution was underlying all biology, I continued with the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology, which is a joint MSc program between four European universities. I did a small research project on the aesthetics of ancient Maya script (University of Montpellier), a master thesis on ancient DNA metabarcoding and modern DNA pollen sequencing (Uppsala University) and a second master thesis on human personality measurement (via the University of St Andrews). Afterwards, I worked for 1.5 years on leaf cutter ants (University of Konstanz), where, together with Christoph Kleineidam, I developed an interaction-based approach for the study of collective system behaviour. 

At The University of Queensland, I am supervised by Dr Simon Hart, and my PhD project centres around ecology and evolution in duckweed. Next to duckweed eco-evo, I have a strong interest in philosophy of science and I try to incorporate Kuhn’s and Feyerabend’s views into my work. Outside of science, I enjoy second-hand book stores, spicy food, Mucha & long walks :) 

You can always drop me a mail or send me a message on Twitter @TimTemizyurek.