Dr Martin Steinbauer wins the 2016 Mackerras Medal

Dr Martin Steinbauer is Reader / Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution (DEEE) at La Trobe University, Melbourne.

Martin gained a BAgrSci with Honours in entomology at the University of Tasmania (1990) before working for CSIRO Entomology in Geelong for just over two years. In 1992, he returned to the University of Tasmania to undertake a PhD in the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Temperate Hardwood Forestry. After completing his PhD in 1995, Martin held various positions with institutions including the University of Tasmania (Hobart), CSIRO Entomology (Darwin and Canberra), CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry (Canberra) and the Australian Plague Locust Commission (Canberra). In March 2008, he joined the then Department of Zoology (now DEEE) at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He finally gained a secure position with La Trobe University in 2015 following the completion of his Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (awarded in 2010).

During his career, Martin has published on a variety of subjects relating to his employment. His output includes 75 refereed publications (with approximately 650 citations according to Scopus) which, until joining La Trobe University and beginning to supervise post-graduate students (from 2011), were predominantly first author works and have both applied and ecological relevance. His research integrates ecological, chemical, electrophysiological and molecular approaches to understand insect biology and behaviour. Taxa studied for his most significant contributions include coreid bugs, a geometrid moth, locusts and more recently jumping plant lice. He has collaborated widely with Australian and overseas experts, led the advancement of themes of research through chairing symposia and has been an active member of the Society since joining in 1990.

In selecting Martin as a worthy candidate for the Ian Mackerras medal 2016, the Society recognises, in particular, his seminal contributions to elucidating the chemical, physical and morphological plant cues native insects utilise to select their eucalypt hosts and preferred leaf types and the consequences of female choices for the survival and performance of their offspring.