People

Andrew D. Letten

Andrew is a population biologist in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia. A broad goal of his research is to understand the effect of environmental variability on the stability of ecological communities. At the same time, in order to deliver on this broader goal, he is working to scale up understanding from simple tractable systems to the more complex dynamics of real world-systems.

Before joining UQ, he was a Marie Curie fellow working with Jonathan Levine and Alex Hall at ETH Zurich (2018-2020), a postdoctoral fellow in Daniel Stouffer’s lab at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2017-2018), and a CEHG (Centre for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics) postdoctoral fellow in Tad Fukami’s lab at Stanford University, USA (2015-2017). He did his PhD (2011-2015) with David Keith in the Centre for Ecosystem Science at UNSW Australia; Masters of Environmental Science and Law at the University of Sydney, Australia (2011); and BSc (Hons) Ecology with Jeremy Midgley and Tony Verboom at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (2002-2005).


Andrew Tuck – Lab Manager (Letten and Engelstaedter labs)

Andrew started his career in Science late in life, after reading and studying fields including nutrition, disease and ageing for several years. After obtaining a First-Class Honours Degree in Biochemistry, he has worked at various capacities across the Queensland Brain Institute, the Institute of Molecular Biosciences, and the School of Biological Sciences. For several years, he worked on the issue of the genetics of resistance to the fumigant gas phosphine in Paul Ebert’s lab in the School of Biological Sciences, where he helped to characterise resistance in the insect species Rhyzopertha dominica and Tribolium castaneum, as well as the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. During this time, he acquired the skills of Lab Management and Workplace Health and Safety, as well as helping to supervise and train over 28 PhD, Master’s and Honour’s students.

Alicia Williams – Honours Student

While completing my undergraduate degree in microbiology, I became fascinated by environmental microbiology and the role bacteria play in communities. For my Honours project, I am studying the fitness costs of antibiotic resistance mutations in E. coli under different resource regimes. My research will hopefully help to answer the fundamental question of how resistant and sensitive bacteria coexist in communities, which has numerous applications in ecology, agriculture and healthcare.