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Mr Andreas Zwick

Molecular Systematist

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Biography

Andreas Zwick received a Diploma in Biology [equivalent of a Master of Science] from the University of Tübingen (Germany) in 2001, with a thesis on the histology, structure and phylogenetic significance of a sensory organ unique to lasiocampid moths. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Australian National University in 2006, studying the phylogeny and taxonomy of the Australian moth family Anthelidae with morphological and molecular characters. From 2007 to 2010 he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (USA), analysing the molecular data of the Assembling the Tree of Life Lepidoptera project (evolution and higher classification of moths) and of the deep-level arthropod phylogeny project. He worked from 2010-2013 as a research scientist and curator of the moth and butterfly collection at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart (Germany). He returned to Australia in 2014, taking on his current research position as molecular systematist at the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC). In this role he runs the ANIC's molecular laboratory and overseas the research in the Lepidoptera collection.

The research of Andreas Zwick centres around the taxonomy and phylogeny of arthropods, in particular the evolution of Pancrustacea and the higher classification and taxonomy of moths (Lepidoptera). He also has a strong interest in advancing methodology for molecular phylogenetics and collection genomics, e.g., the detection and elimination of compositional heterogeneity in DNA data sets (degeneracy coding), and the DNA sequencing from very old specimens.

Current projects include:
* The generation and analysis of large transcriptome data sets to reconstruct the:
1. Origin of insects and relatives (Hexapoda) within Pancrustacea.
2. Evolutionary relationships within the most diverse class of traditional “Crustacea” (Pancrustacea: Malacostraca).
3. Phylogeny of mayflies (Ephemeroptera).
4. Phylogeny and higher classification of moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera).

  • The molecular phylogeny of Helicoverpa from museum specimens.
  • The genome of the Lord Howe Island stick insect (Dryococelus australis), comparing old museum specimens from the extinct island population with a population from Ball's Pyramid, which is maintained for conservation at the Melbourne Zoo.
  • The phylogeny of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae: Coccinellini).
  • The use of the novel Nanopore sequencing technology (MinION) for molecular identification and de novo genome assembly for non-model arthropods.
  • The parallel sequencing of many different samples with high throughput sequencing techniques.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2001

    Diploma [German equivalent of Master of Science]
    University of Tübingen

  • 2006

    PhD
    Australian National University

Professional Experiences

  • 2007-2010

    Postdoctoral Research Associate
    University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, MD, USA

  • 2010-2013

    Research Scientist / Curator of Lepidoptera
    State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart, Germany

  • 2014-present

    Research Scientist
    Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO