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

Two’s company, three’s a crowd: co-occurring pollinators and parasite species in Breynia oblongifolia (Phyllanthaceae). JTD Finch, SA Power, JA Welbergen, JM Cook. BMC evolutionary biology 18 (1), 193, 2, 2018.

A non‐pollinating moth inflicts higher seed predation than two co‐pollinators in an obligate pollination mutualism. JTD Finch, SA Power, JA Welbergen, JM Cook. Ecological Entomology, 2019.