About


G'day, I'm Ryan.

I'm a plant and fungal systematics/taxonomy PhD student with the Linde Group at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. My PhD research is focused on applying phylogenomic methods to investigate the evolutionary relationships of the Diurideae (Orchidaceae) and their mycorrhizal symbionts. I am also investigating species level questions in Pterostylis (Orchidaceae)—predominantly the 'Bunochilus' group i.e. P. sect. Squamatae—and Ceratobasidium (Ceratobasidiaceae).

More broadly, my research interests focus on using integrative taxonomic methods to resolve species boundaries in taxonomically challenging groups. I recently completed a Master of Scientific Studies (Biodiversity Science) as a Vice-Chancellor's Scholar at the University of New England (UNE), where I was also awarded the N.C.W. Beadle Scholarship in Botany to complete my Masters research project on the taxonomy, systematics and conservation of Prostanthera (Lamiaceae).

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Prior to becoming a systematist, I worked as an opera singer, voice actor, film maker, and writer. I have performed and had my films screened nationally and internationally, and I have won multiple prizes and scholarships for my work.

Rather than shy away from my unconventional career trajectory, I've decided to embrace it and acknowledge the diversity of experiences and skills that I have. With my background in stage, media, and communications, I have been able to translate these skills to communicate complex ideas with non-specialist audiences in an engaging way. I am a keen science communicator and educator, and I am passionate about storytelling with science.

I still occasionally work as a voice actor and singer, and you can learn more about that here.