Professor Banks is a molecular ecologist who in 2018 moved to Darwin from Canberra’s Australian National University.
Molecular ecology is a research field that uses methods in genomics and ecology to understand biodiversity and how it responds to environmental change. In his research group, his team uses field-based ecological approaches, laboratory genomics and computer simulation modelling to study how animal and plant populations work.
Combining these different research approaches is generating some new and exciting insights into biodiversity and ecological process that would have been otherwise impossible to discover.
Much of the research that Professor Banks’ team has conducted in recent years has focussed on fire in the landscape, how animal population dynamics are shaped by fire and how fire influences genetic diversity and evolutionary processes across the landscape. His team has also developed and applied genetic methods to understand how animals move across the landscape.
His team is running an exciting project that uses genomic data to track saltwater crocodile movement across northern Australia and South-East Asia, helping to manage populations of this iconic predator.