Doctor Jon Finch

Jonathan FinchJon began his academic career at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) in 2009 where he studied Zoology as an undergraduate.  After obtaining his BSc in 2012 he spent two years living and working in one the UK’s largest breeding seabird colonies as a wildlife ranger. Following this Jon returned to University to pursue his interest in insect ecology and attained a MSc in Entomology at Harper Adams University (UK). In 2015 Jon successfully applied for a Western Sydney University International Scholarship to undertake a PhD at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. During his PhD Jon studied the highly specific pollination interactions occurring between Epicephala moths and their Phyllantheae hosts. In 2019 Jon was awarded his PhD and accepted a position as research fellow studying fly pollination at Western Sydney University. He continues to work on both specialised and generalised pollination interactions.

Areas of research

Pollination, Diptera, Mango, Avocado, Co-evolution, Mutualism, Lepidoptera, Epicephala, Phyllantheae.

Awards and recognition
  • 2017 - Asia-Pacific semi-finalist - Three Minute Thesis® - University of Queensland
  • 2017 - Winner - Three Minute Thesis® - Western Sydney University
  • 2017 - People’s choice for best presentation - Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment HDR Forum
  • 2017 - Best presentation (Runner up) - Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment HDR Forum

2019 - Australian Lepidoptera Research Endowment ($2,500) - “Leafflowers and leafflower moths: diversity, host associations and co-speciation in the Australian Epicephala (Gracillariidae)”.

2018 - Horticulture Innovation Australia ($538,350) - “Managing flies for crop pollination”. James Cook, Markus Riegler & Jonathan Finch

2015-2018 - Western Sydney University International PhD Scholarship ($170,000).

Selected publications

Finch JTD, Power SA, Welbergen JA, Cook JM, (2021) 'Staying in touch: how highly specialised moth pollinators track host plant phenology in unpredictable climates', BMC Ecology and Evolution, vol.21, no.1, Article no.161

Cook DF, Voss SC, Finch JTD, Rader RC, Cook JM, Spurr CJ, (2020) 'The role of flies as pollinators of horticultural crops: An Australian case study with worldwide relevance', Insects, vol.11, no.6, Article no.341, pp 23-31

Finch JTD, Cook JM, (2020) 'Flies on vacation: evidence for the migration of Australian Syrphidae (Diptera)', Ecological Entomology, vol.45, no.4, pp 896-900

Robertson AR, Finch JTD, Young AD, Spooner-Hart RN, Outim SKM, Cook JM, (2020) 'Species diversity in bee flies and hover flies (Diptera: Bombyliidae and Syrphidae) in the horticultural environments of the Blue Mountains, Australia', Austral Entomology, vol.59, no.3, pp 561-571

Finch JTD, Power SA, Welbergen JA, Cook JM, (2019) 'A non-pollinating moth inflicts higher seed predation than two co-pollinators in an obligate pollination mutualism', Ecological Entomology, vol.44, no.6, pp 780-791

Finch JTD, Power SA, Welbergen JA, Cook JM, (2018) 'Two's company, three's a crowd: Co-occurring pollinators and parasite species in Breynia oblongifolia (Phyllanthaceae)', BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol.18, no.1, Article no.193