Dr Kirsti Abbott

Program Leader - UNE Discovery - Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law; School of Science and Technology

Kirsti Abbott

Phone: +61 2 6773 2834

Mobile: 0466 726 525

Email: kabbott6@une.edu.au

Twitter: @Beyondbuggirl


Kirsti leads UNE Discovery, a project that aims to attract, engage and inspire children and families in our communities through Discovery spaces, both on the UNE campus and mobile. We are creating spaces for growth, where curiosity, confidence, creativity, collaboration and a can-do attitude is fostered from an early age.

She can help you to connect with UNE’s outreach & engagement initiatives, including the Natural History Museum, ConocoPhillips Science Experience in January each year, Science & Engineering Challenge in March, HSC Booster Days in June, Far Out Science and GRASS events in November.

You can listen to Kirsti talk about ants and other creepy but curious invertebrate stories….

…. with Richard Fidler

…. at the inaugural TEDx Sydney Salon

…. on Creepy But Curious, ABC New England Northwest radio

.... and participate in School of Ants Australia


  • PhD, Monash University
  • Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Monash University
  • BSc. (Hons), James Cook University

Research Interests

  • Ecology and management of invasive ants
  • Invertebrate taxonomy & conservation
  • Mutualisms as facilitators of ant invasions
  • Science education & communication
  • Citizen science


Selected publications

Gleadow, RM, Honeyew, MA, Ford, A, Isaac, BL & Abbott, KL (2015) New tools for a new age: an evolution or revolution in higher education? F1000Research [E] vol 4, Faculty of 1000 Ltd. London UK, 1-11.

Abbott, KL, Green, PT & O’Dowd, DJ (2014) The reproductive phenology and forager bait preference of the invasive yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes, in supercolonies on Christmas Island.  Austral Entomology 53:337-346.

Hodgson, JC, Abbott, KL & Clarke, RH (2014) Eradication plan - Tropical Fire Ant Solenopsis geminata atAshmore Reef CMR Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Report prepared for the Director of National Parks.

Rayner, GM, Papakonstantinou, T., Gleadow, RM & Abbott, KL (2014) Iterative writing programs may generate higher student confidence about their ability to write, but not necessarily improved writing ability. Journal of Academic Language & Learning 8(2): 1-12.

Gruber, MAM, Burne, AR, Abbott, KL, Pierce, RJ & Lester, PJ (2012) Ant invasion revisited: increased distribution coupled with population decline of an invasive ant haplotype on a Pacific atoll. Biological Invasions DOI: 10.1007/s10530-012-0312-z

Green, PT, O'Dowd DJ, Abbott, KL, Jeffery, M, Retallick, K & MacNally, R (2011) Invasional meltdown: Invader-invader mutualism facilitates a secondary invasion. Ecology 92(9): 1758-1768.

Thomas, M, Becker, K, Abbott, KL & Feldhaar, H (2010) Supercolony mosaics: two different invasions by the yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Biological Invasions 12(3): 677-687.

Hoffmann BD, Abbott, KL & Davis P (2010) Invasive ant management. In: Ant Ecology. Lach L, Parr C.L. &  Abbott K.L. (Eds.). Oxford University Press.

Lester PJ, Abbott KL, Sarty M & Burns KC (2009) Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities. BMC Ecology 9: 3.

McNatty A, Abbott KL & Lester PJ (2009) Invasive ants compete with and modify the trophic ecology of hermit crabs on tropical islands. Oecologia 160: 187–194.

Corin, SE, Abbott, KL, Ritchie, PA & Lester, PJ (2007)  Large scale unicoloniality: the population and colony structure of the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) in New Zealand. Insect Sociaux 54: 275 – 282.

Abbott, KL & Green, PT (2007) Collapse of an ant-scale mutualism in rainforest on Christmas Island.  Oikos 116: 1238 – 1246.

Abbott, KL, Kiriwi, SNJ, Lester, PJ & Ritchie, P (2006) Distinct populations of the yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes, on a Tokelau atoll reveal clues to invasion history. Biological Invasions 9: 453 - 463.

Sarty, M, Abbott, KL & Lester, PJ (2006) Habitat complexity facilitates coexistence in a tropical ant community.  Oecologia 149: 465-473.

Abbott, KL, Sarty, M & Lester, PJ (2006) The ants of Tokelau. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 33: 157-164.

Abbott, KL (2006) Spatial dynamics of supercolonies of the yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes, on a tropical oceanic island.  Diversity & Distributions 12: 101-110.

Abbott, KL (2005) Supercolonies of the invasive yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes, on an oceanic island: Forager activity patterns, density and biomass. Insectes Sociaux 52: 266-272.


Lach, L., Parr, C.L. & Abbott, K.L. Eds. (2010) Ant Ecology. Oxford University Press.


Australian Science Communicators

Association of Children's Museums

Australasian Science & Technology Engagement Network

Related Links

UNE Discovery Voyager - https://www.unediscoveryvoyager.org.au/

School of Ants - http://www.schoolofants.net.au/