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Recent PhD completion: Ángel David Popa-Báez

Ángel David Popa-Báez

Macquarie University & CSIRO

Accepted September 2020

"Ecotypic and genetic differentiation among native range and invasive populations of Queensland fruit fly"

Ángel used bioassays and genome resequencing to show complex patterns of genetic and ecotypic variation across the geographic range of Bactrocera tryoni (Queensland fruit fly, or Q-fly). He found introgression with the closely related B. aquilonis and significant gene flow associated with continuous range expansions into Southern Australia. However, founding effects and genetic isolation were evident in incursions into disjunct areas in central and north Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, New Zealand and Melanesia. Furthermore, climate stress tolerance of wild populations introduce into laboratory rearing declined in several populations within a few generations. In his thesis, Ángel discussed the implications of these findings for invasion theory and Q-fly control using the Sterile Insect Technique.

After submitting his thesis, Ángel worked on a platform for automated detection of invasive species incursions. The initial focus was the Q-fly, with plans to extended the system to the Mediterranean fruit fly, Fall armyworm, and other species of economic and biosecurity importance for Australia. At present, he is currently working on several population genomics papers and the generation of population genomics datasets from several species. He is very excited and looking forward to starting a new role as a Honey Bee Genomics Postdoctoral Fellow at CSIRO in January, 2021.