Lecturer - Research Scientist
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.
I am an Evolutionary Ecologist interested in transitions in animal behaviour. I use molecular tool-kits to understand the interplay between whole organisms, their environment and their genes, with a focus on the evolution of insect social organisation and photic niche shifts. My PhD investigated allodapine bees that can switch between solitary and social lifestyles, and I then undertook a series of postdocs exploring neotropical halictine bees that are similarly social, but unusual in their habit of obligate nocturnal foraging. This latter research program developed a parallel interest in vision and my current postdoctoral research involves projects that use high-throughput sequencing to explore the regressive evolution of eye genes in subterranean water beetles; in addition to projects on differential gene expression between queen vs. worker castes and social parasites vs. their hosts (allodapine bees). I have considerable field experience in Australia, the Americas, Africa and Asia.
Behaviour, Ecology, Natural History, Vision, Molecular Evolution, Systematics, Biogeography.
ABC, Radio National, 28 January 2015.
RN Afternoons, live interview with Michael Mackenzie – “Blind beetles”
Science Magazine, ScienceNow – news from Science, 26 July 2011
ScienceShot: A buzz in the dark
ABC, Science Online - Ask an Expert, 18 March 2015
How does evolution explain animals losing vision? Doug Futuyma & Simon Tierney
The Conversation, Science + Technology, 5 February 2015
What blind beetles can teach us about evolution - Simon Tierney (invited contribution)
Entomology Today, Entomological Society of America, 30 January 2015.
Blind Cave Beetles Lack Eyes but Still Have Sight Genes
Date Position Institution name 2015 Lecturer B University of Adelaide 2013 Postdoctoral Fellow University of Adelaide 2005 - 2011 Postdoctoral Fellow Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Language Competency English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review Spanish; Castilian Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
Date Institution name Country Title 2000 - 2005 Flinders University Australia PhD 1994 - 1994 Flinders University Australia Honours 1991 - 1993 Flinders University Australia BA
Year Citation 2009 Wcislo, W. T., & Tierney, S. M. (2009). The evolution of communal behavior in bees and wasps: an alternative to eusociality. In J. Gadau, & J. Fewell (Eds.), Organization of insect societies: from genomes to sociocomplexity (pp. 148-169). USA: Harvard University Press. 2006 Schwarz, M. P., Tierney, S. M., & Chapman, T. W. (2006). Phylogenetic analyses of life history traits in allodapine bees and social evolution.. In V. E. Kipyatkov (Ed.), Life Cycles of Social Insects: Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution. (pp. 147-155). St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg University Press. 1997 Neville, T., Schwarz, M. P., & Tierney, S. M. (1997). Life cycle and sociality in an Australian allodapine bee Exoneura (Exoneurella) setosa.. In V. E. Kipyatkov (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Colloquia on Social Insects: Volume 3-4 (pp. 239-246). 1997 Schwarz, M. P., Bull, N. J., Tierney, S. M., Cronin, A. L., & Reyes, S. G. (1997). Social evolution in Hymenoptera - insights from Australian allodapine bees.. In V. E. Kipyatkov (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Colloquia on Social Insects: Volume 3-4. (pp. 11-18). St. Petersburg: Russian Language Section, International Union for the Study of Social Insects; Socium, St. Petersburg.
Year Citation 2018 Tierney, S., Langille, B., Humphreys, W., Austin, A., & Cooper, S. (2018). Massive parallel regression: genetic mechanisms for eye loss amongst subterranean diving beetles. Poster session presented at the meeting of INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY. San Francisco, CA: OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC.
Curated or Produced Public Exhibition or Events
Year Citation 2015 Tierney, S. (2015). International Pint of Science Festival 2015 - Adelaide (No. Of Pieces: Two evening events) [Exhibition]. http://pintofscience.com.au/events/adelaide/. 2014 Tierney, S. M. (2014). The Bees Knees: The importance of pollinators and their recent decline (No. Of Pieces: Seminar) [Exhibition]. Science in the Pub Adelaide.
Year Citation 2015 Tierney, S. M. (2015). What blind beetles can teach us about evolution. The Conversation.
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2015 Co-Supervisor Phylogeography and Regressive Evolution of Eye Loss in Subterranean Diving Beetles of Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Barbara Langille 2014 Co-Supervisor Using an integrative taxonomic approach to investigate the systematics and evolution of groundwater-dependant crustaceans of the Australian arid zone Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Danielle Nicole Stringer
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