Conservation biology:

Adaptation, mating systems and evolutionary ecology


I am an evolutionary biologist and ecologist interested in how evolutionary processes and ecology shape adaptation, mating systems and speciation and how these questions can be applied to restoration and conservation.

Investigating questions on adaptation and mating system variation addresses a long-standing question in evolutionary biology - namely how do populations diverge and what are the processes involved in the development of reproductive isolation. Although important in their own right, research that addresses these questions can also provide important information for the conservation and restoration of species and communities.

My research integrates different approaches including field and greenhouse experiments, crossing experiments, quantitative genetics, large-scale geographic surveys, theory, population genetics and comparative analysis.

I have recently moved to Perth, Western Australia where I am continuing my work on using eco-evolutionary models to examine genetic rescue of small populations and optimal strategies for population restoration in a rapidly changing world.

From October 2011 to May 2019, I was a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Nick Barton at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) in Austria where I worked on self-incompatibility and hybridization in Antirrhinum, theory on how novel self-incompatibility haplotypes evolve and simulations of genetic rescue.

Between December 2008 - July 2011, I did a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Spencer Barrett at the University of Toronto in Canada (see Research page for more information).

Before this I worked as a Field Scientist at Greening Australia.


Phone: +61450653991

Email: melinda.pickup[at]