Professor Nigel Andrew

Professor , Entomology - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Nigel Andrew

Phone: +61 2 6773 2937


Twitter: @nigel_andrew


I assess how insect biology changes along environmental gradients (latitude, altitude, climatic, agricultural): particularly their ecology, physiology and behaviour. My current research focuses on the impact of climate change on dung beetles, ants and insect-plant interactions. My research has moved into assessing morphological traits of assemblages to identify if there are any predictable change in traits across landscapes and recently into physiological traits of common, abundant species. Further, I have assessed physiological, behavioural and ecological traits of common species to identify how resilient they are to a rapidly changing climate. I am now working in thermal biology research, and assessing dynamic energy budgets of species to determine their energy expenditure throughout their life and identify critical life stages where they might be most vulnerable to both average warmer and extreme events. I also use Dynamic Energy Budgets and Individual-Based Models to scale up from the individual to population responses to extreme thermal events.


BSc (1st Class Hons)/ BA (W'gong), PhD (Macq), GCHE (NE)


In my role as President of ESA I successfully won a prized scholarship from the Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF) to attend the Australian Institute of Company Directors' The Role of the Not–for–Profit Chairman 10 February 2016. This enabled me to learn how to better chair meetings, and also gave me critical knowledge about Board structure and management skills. I was one of 24 not–for–profit chairs awarded this scholarship. In 2016 I won a Publons Sentinel of Science award as one of the top 10% of researchers contributing to peer review in Agricultural and Biological Sciences.

Teaching Areas

I am the unit coordinator of Entomology (ZOOL220/420) and Insect-Plant Interactions (ZOOL328/528) and teach the Insect Pests component of AGRO311 Plant Protection.

Primary Research Area/s

Entomology; Insect ecology; Thermal physiology; Dynamic Energy Budgets; Individual Based Models

Research Interests

Insect Ecology Lab

Behavioural and Physiological Ecology

Research Supervision Experience

I have a superior record of supervising Higher Degree Research students (HDR) to successful completion as principal supervisor. I have had 15 PhD, 5 MsAg, 1 MNatRes, and 8 Honours completions during my career and currently supervise 7 PhD (9 as primary supervisor) and 4 Masters (2 as primary supervisor) students.




  • Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society
  • Life member of the Ecological Society of Australia
  • Australian Entomological Society
  • British Ecological Society
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Entomological Society of America
  • International Biogeographical Society
  • Society of Experimental Biology
  • Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology
  • NSW Entomological Society
  • Entomological Society of Queensland
  • Society for Insect Studies (NSW)

Community and Advocacy Organisation Collaborations

As ESA President I provided written expert evidence advocating the importance of tax-free donations for the Society’s existence, and promoting ecological science to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment: Register of Environmental Organisations. Based on this expert evidence, I attended a formal sitting (14 July 2015) and advocated ESA’s position to the committee, which was formally recognised in the Proof Committee Hansard.

I represented UNE at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry: Agricultural Innovation (13 April 2016) in regards to the importance of citizen science and using innovative methods to understanding key, but under-appreciated income generators in agricultural systems: the insect pollinators. This was formally recognised in the Proof Committee Hansard.

In May 2018 I was directly asked by the NSW Office of Environmental and Heritage [172], a ‘Save our Species’ Monitoring Plan for Paralucia spinifera (Purple Copper Butterfly) in NSW. I co-developed this plan (via direct OEH funding). This will assist in developing future research priorities and also to engage Local Land Services, landholders and schools in the species preservation and recovery.

Further Information

I am Managing Editor for Austral Ecology (December 2016 à continuing to 2020), the premier ecological journal of the southern hemisphere.

I am also section Editor for PeerJ Zoological Sciences (February 2018 à continuing): an internationally leading multidisciplinary open-access journal with a prestigious editorial board, including five Nobel Laureates.

I chair the Holsworth Wildlife Endowment Fund committee [30] (2017 à continuing), which is managed by the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) to distribute approximately $1 million of funds each year to PhD students carrying out ecological research in Australia.

I am a key member of the INTECOL (The International Association for Ecology) board, being a member of the Fundraising Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee, on which I am assessing Strategic Plans of all national ecological societies worldwide.

For three years (2014-2016), I was President of ESA: leading the largest peak group of ecologists in the Southern Hemisphere. I led the development of the ESA Strategic Plan 2015/16 – 2019/20 and implemented structural reorganisation of the Board, and its finances, to enable the continued success of the society into the future.

I am Vice-President of the Entomological Society of NSW.