CV

PUBLICATIONS

Attard MRG and Portugal S (resubmitted – Manuscript ID RSPB-2020-2685) Climate variability and mode of development influence gas exchange across avian eggshells. Proceedings of Royal Society B.

Attard MRG, Lewis A, Wroe S, Hughs C and Rogers R (resubmitted – manuscript ID:  ECS20-0706). A tool to tell time: Tasmanian devil vibrissae provide fine-scale temporal information about individual diet and habitat. Ecosphere

Cook J, Attard MRG, Evans SP, Goatley CHR, Clausen PD and Wroe S. (In review) The bigger they are, the harder they hop? Using finite element modelling to predict locomotion in a giant extinct kangaroo. PeerJ.

Birkhead T, Russell D, Garbout A, Attard MRG, Thompson J and Jackson D (2020) New insights from old eggs – the shape and thickness of Great Auk Pinguinus impennis eggs.

Birkhead TRB, Attard MRG, Pilastro A (2019) Subtle egg-membrane structures in birds’ eggs. Molecular Reproduction and Development. Impact factor: 3.1. SCImago: 1.1.

Tsang LR, Sansalone G, Wilson LAB, Attard MRG, Ledogar J and Wroe S. (2019) Raptor talon shape and biomechanical performance are controlled by relative prey size but not by allometry. Scientific Reports. 9: 7076. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-43654-0 

Attard, MRG, Sherratt E, McDonald P, Garcia M and Wroe S (2018) A new, three-dimensional geometric morphometric approach to assess egg shape variation. PeerJ. 6: e5052

Attard, MRG, Medina I, Langmore N, Sherratt E (2017) Egg shape mimicry in parasitic cuckoos. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 7(2): e31704.

Attard, MRG, Wilson LAB, Worthy TH, Scofield P, Johnston P, Parr WCH and Wroe S (2016) Moa diet fits the bill: virtual reconstruction incorporating mummified remains and prediction of biomechanical performance in avian giants. Proceedings of Royal Society B. 283(1822). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2043

Attard MRG, Parr W, Archer M, Hand S, Rogers TL and Wroe S (2014) Virtual reconstruction and prediction of diet of the Australian mid Cenozoic thylacinid, Nimbacinus dicksoni (Thylacinidae, Marsupialia). PLOS ONE. 9 (4), e93088.

D’Anastasio R, Wroe S, Tuniz C, Arensburge B, Mancini L, Cesana DT, Dreossi D, Ravichandiran M, Attard MRG, Parr W, Agur A. (2013) Micro-Biomechanics of the Kebara 2 Hyoid and Its Implications for Speech in Neanderthals. PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082261

Attard MRG, Chamoli U, Ferrara T, Rogers TL and Wroe S (2011) Skull mechanics and implications for feeding behaviour in a large marsupial carnivore guild: the thylacine, Tasmanian devil and spotted-tailed quoll. Journal of Zoology, 285 (4); 292-300.

Attard MRG, Pitcher BJ, Charrier I, Ahonen H, Harcourt RG (2010) Vocal discrimination in mate guarding male Australian sea lions: Familiarity Breeds Contempt, Ethology, 116; 1-9.​

EDUCATION

2013 Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. University of New South Wales. Dissertation: “Who’s on the menu: marsupial carnivore feeding ecology and extinction risk.”

2008 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biological Sciences; 1 st Class. Macquarie University. Dissertation: “Familiarity breeds contempt: vocal recognition in mate guarding male Australian sea lions.”

2007 Bachelor of Science (Advanced Science) in Biological Sciences; graduated with Distinction. University of Western Sydney. Environmental Science (major); Microbiology (major); Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (sub-major).​

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS

2019-present Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dr Stephen Portugal Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London and School of Engineering and Innovation, Open University.

2016-2019 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Tim R Birkhead Lab Group, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield. Supervisor: Prof Tim Birkhead

2014/16 Research Assistant, The Function, Evolution and Anatomy Research (FEAR) Lab, Department of Zoology, University of New England.

2014/15 Postdoctoral Fellow, The Function, Evolution and Anatomy Research (FEAR) Lab, Department of Zoology, University of New England. Supervisors: A/Prof Stephen Wroe and Dr Paul McDonald

2014 Unit coordinator, Principles of Zoology (ZOOL100), University of New England.

BOOK CHAPTERS

Attard MRG and Wroe S (book project approved by CSIRO’s Publishing Committee, to be published by Dec 2020) Thylacine Prey Size in “History and Mystery of the Thylacine”. Editor: Branden Holmes. CSIRO Publishing.

PUBLISHED FEATURE ARTICLES

Attard, MRG and Wroe S (2012) “The thylacine myth”. Australasian Science Magazine. (6): 19- 22.

Attard, MRG (2012) “Unveiling the mysteries of the Tasmanian Tiger”. The conversation.​

REPORTS

Wang J and Attard MRG (2005-2007) Annual Self-Storage Almanac, Self Storage Association of Australia.​

AWARDS AND HONORS

2013 Postgraduate Writing and Skills Transfer Award (AU$6,000) Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

2012 Faculty of Science Postgraduate Research Competition Winner (AU$5,000) University of New South Wales. 2012 Wiley-Blackwell Student prize (AU$300) For outstanding spoken presentation at Ecological Society of Australia conference.

Speaking about my research on Tasmanian devil whiskers in the 2012 Faculty of Science Postgraduate Research Competition

2010 Postgraduate Forum Award School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia.

2009-12 Academic Postgraduate Award (AU$20,427 per annum) University of New South Wales.

2005-07 Academic Excellence Scholarship (AU$5,000) University of Western Sydney.

2005-07 University Dean’s Medal University of Western Sydney.

GRANTS

​2013 £300 INTECOL Student Travel Grant. 2012 AU$1,000 E&ERC Postgraduate Research Start-Up Grant Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

2012 AU$200 Ecological Society of Australia. Sponsorship for attendance to the Ecological Society of Australia conference

2011 AU$3,300 Postgraduate Research Student Support (PRSS) Scheme. University of New South Wales.

2011 AU$1,000 Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) Travel Grant. 2008 AU$500 Golden Key International Honours Society Scholarship​

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

2019 Advances in Avian Reproduction: Nests, Eggs and Incubation Conference, Poster, “Scratching beyond the surface: the evolution and functional role of avian eggshell structure and tomography”. Lincoln.

2019 Advances in Avian Reproduction: Nests, Eggs and Incubation Conference, Oral presentation, “Life on the edge: Are pyriform eggs more resistant to breakage among cliff-breeding seabirds?” Lincoln.

2018 Resolving the Mysteries of the Avian Egg Conference, Oral Presentation, “Egg shape mimicry in brood parasites”, Sheffield.

2014 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Oral presentation, “Virtual reconstruction and prey preference of Tasmanian tiger’s ancient relative”, Berlin.

2014 4th International Palaeontological Congress, Poster, “Moa diet fits the bill: clip and pluck feeding strategies of New Zealand’s Extinct giant flightless birds”, Mendoza.

2013 International Association for Ecology conference, Poster, “New insight from the old: Using stable isotopes to assess marsupial carnivore vulnerability to anthropogenic impacts”, London.

2013 Ecological Society of America conference, Oral presentation, “The risks of being big – The ecological and evolutionary significance of the thylacine’s body size and diet”, Minneapolis.

2013 Australian Mammal Society conference, Oral presentation, “Tracking long-term diet and habitat shifts in the world’s largest marsupial carnivores”, Sydney.

2012 Ecological Society of Australia conference, Oral presentation, “The thylacine myth: stable isotopes and skull biomechanics reveal their ‘actual’ diet and extinction risk”, Melbourne.

2012 Guest speaker at “Using virtual reconstruction and computational biomechanics to study form and function in biology” workshop, Sydney.

2011 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Oral presentation, “Are you really what you eat: Influences of fasting on stable isotope ratios in male southern elephant seals”, Tampa.

2011 13th Conference on Australian Vertebrate Evolution Palaeontology and Systematics, Oral presentation, “Skull mechanics and implications for feeding behaviour in a large marsupial carnivore guild”, Perth.

2011 4th International Conference on the Mechanics of Biomaterials and Tissues, Oral presentation and poster, “Skull mechanics and its implications for feeding behaviour in a large marsupial carnivore guild”, Hawaii.​

CONFERENCE HOSTING

In 2018, I created and organised the “Resolving the Mysteries of the Avian Egg Conference” aimed towards researchers, curators and general public interesting in recent advancements in eggs, nests and incubation. Click here to view the program.

PUBLIC OUTREACH

My research has been disseminated to the public through:

  • Interviews on radio and television (e.g. ABC Science Show, Bush Telegraph, New Zealand radio, ABC News)
  • Feature articles (e.g. BBC Nature, Science Illustrated, Science News, Australian Geographic, Scienceline)
  • Newspapers (e.g. Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times).

A full list of media coverage is available at Science in the Media.