David Chapple

Associate Professor David Chapple

Senior Lecturer
Head, Evolutionary Ecology of Environmental Change Laboratory


T: +61 3 9905 3015
E: david.chapple@monash.edu

Monash University Researcher Profile - including biography, publications and grants
Research Group Website
Google Scholar

Research Overview

We investigate the key evolutionary drivers of past, current, and future environmental change. Our three focus areas are:
Historic drivers of species distribution and phenotype. We use a variety of molecular markers (genomic data, DNA sequence data, DNA microsatellites) to investigate the origin, diversification and distribution of a range of taxonomic groups, and their response to climatic and historical processes. This molecular work provides an evolutionary framework in which to conduct our field- and lab-based research, where we apply an evolutionary perspective to the study of ecology and behaviour. Our research focuses on topics as diverse as social behaviour, mating systems, life-history, anti-predator behaviour, and thermal adaptation.
Human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC). Our research focuses on species that display divergent responses to HIREC, namely invasive species that expand their range, and threatened species that contract their range. Species invasions involve the human-mediated dispersal of individuals beyond their native range, the successful establishment of populations in novel environments, and the invaders competing with native species as they spread across the landscape. Invasive species therefore provide exciting opportunities to investigate, over contemporary timescales, key evolutionary and ecological processes. We investigate the pathways through which species are introduced to new regions, and the biosecurity measures that aim to prevent the transportation or post-border establishment of introduced species. In addition, we examine the factors that result in range declines and increased extinction risk in threatened species.
Macroecology and comparative analyses. We use comparative methods to investigate the ecology and evolution of squamate reptiles. Our research is focused in areas including i) conservation and extinction risk, ii) the interplay between morphology, ecology, ecophysiology, life-history and the environment, and iii) invasion biology and biosecurity.

Research Group

Research Assistant

  • Celine Goulet

PhD Students

  • Rebecca Bray, Co-supervised by Professor Mike Thompson (University of Sydney)
  • Anna Senior, Co-supervised by A/Professor Bob Wong
  • Andressa Duran, Co-supervised by Prof Shai Meiri (Tel Aviv University)
  • Genevieve Matthews, Co-supervised by Dr Tim Connallon
  • Annalise Naimo, Co-supervised by A/Professor Bob Wong
  • Madeleine De Jong, Co-supervised by A/Professor Bob Wong