Alexander M Piper

PhD Candidate

Agriculture Victoria Research

La Trobe University


Alexander Piper is a research scientist with Agriculture Victoria Research and currently completing his PhD with La Trobe University. His research uses high-throughput sequencing and computational biology to improve detection and control of insect pests.


  • Molecular ecology
  • Population genomics
  • Computational biology


  • PhD candidate, 2017-Present

    La Trobe University

  • BSc in Biology, 2015

    Queensland University of Technology



PhD Candidate

La Trobe University

Jul 2017 – Present Melbourne, Australia
  • Developing a quantitative metabarcoding pipeline for high-throughput identification of invasive insects within mixed trap samples
  • Using population genomics to explore the historical demography and seasonal population dynamics of a pest fruit fly

Research Scientist (Part time)

Agriculture Victoria Research

Jul 2017 – Present Melbourne, Australia
  • Computational support for the cross-industry iMapPESTS metabarcoding surveillance program.

Research Scientist

Agriculture Victoria Research

Apr 2016 – Jul 2017 Melbourne, Australia
  • Utilising microbial symbionts of horticultural pests to develop novel insect attractants.

Laboratory Assistant

Queensland University of Technology

Oct 2015 – Mar 2016 Brisbane, Australia
  • Isolation and physiological characterisation of environmental microbes from insects and host plants.

B.Sc. Capstone Research Project

Queensland University of Technology

Jun 2015 – Nov 2015 Brisbane, Australia
  • Developing an environmental DNA PCR assay for detection of an invasive freshwater fish species.

Undergraduate Research

Queensland University of Technology

Sep 2013 – Jun 2014 Brisbane, Australia
  • Assisting a PhD student to validate transcriptomics results with qRT-PCR

Recent Posts

Geographic Visualisation of Ecological Data in R

Geographic Visualisation of Ecological Data in R code{white-space: pre;} pre:not([class]) { background-color: white; } if …

Recent Publications

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Prospects and challenges of implementing DNA metabarcoding for high-throughput insect surveillance

Trap-based surveillance strategies are widely used for monitoring of invasive insect species, aiming to detect newly arrived exotic …

Two gut-associated yeasts in a Tephritid fruit fly have contrasting effects on adult attraction and larval survival

Yeast-insect interactions have been well characterized in drosophilid flies, but not in tephritid fruit flies, which include many …


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