Dr Lee Rollins





Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


Faculty Office


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales, 2009


+61 3 522 72084


Deakin University, ARC DECRA (2015-Present)

Deakin University, Research Fellow (2012-2015)

Macquarie University, Research Fellow (2011-2012)

University of New South Wales, Research Associate (2010-2011)

Macquarie University, Research Fellow (2009-2010)

University of New South Wales, PhD (Conservation Genetics), Awarded 2009

University of New South Wales, Master (Marine Science), Awarded 2000

Read more on Lee's profile

Biography summary

I am broadly interested in the molecular ecology of invasive species, conservation genetics, avian behaviour, the genetics of social systems and how genes behave at a population level. Much of my work has focused on the role of dispersal in range expansions and the use of genetic analyses to understand contemporary population dynamics including rates of exchange between genetically separated populations. I am now investigating genes important to dispersal in order to examine the role of genetics in range expansion of invasive species.

Knowledge areas

Population genetics

Molecular ecology

Conservation genetics



Annual Meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vienna, Austria, Avian Molecular Evolution Symposium (organiser)

Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Katoomba,  Australia, Public Lecture


Annual Meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vienna, Austria

Behaviour 2015, Cairns, Australia (oral presentation and symposium orgnaiser)


Invasion Genetics: The Baker and Stebbens Legacy, Asilomar, California, USA

Genetics Society of Australasia 2014, Sydney Australia


Genetics Society of Australasia 2013, Sydney, Australia

Australasian Evolution Society Conference, Geelong, Australia


Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Geelong,  Australia

Genetics Society of Australasia 59th Annual Conference, Melbourne, Australia


International Invasive Bird Conference, Fremantle, Australia

Australasian Wildlife Management Society 21st Annual Conference, Fremantle, Australia


The 6th International Zoo and Wildlife Research Conference on Behaviour, Physiology and Genetics, Berlin, Germany 

ConGen3: The 3rd International Conservation Genetics Symposium, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

Australasian Evolution Society 5th Annual Conference, Sydney, Australia

Genetics Society of Australasia 54th Annual Conference, Sydney, Australia

Biodiversity Extinction Crisis Conference – A Pacific Response, (Society for Conservation Biology Australasian Section), Sydney, Australia.


13th Annual Australasian Pest Management Conference, Wellington, NZ. (Full paper).

Professional activities

Genetics Society of Australasia, Treasurer, 2013-present

Australasian Evolution Society, Treasurer, 2013-present

Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, Membership Officer, 2012-2016


Honours and PhD projects are available to investigate genetic and epigenetic drivers of invasion using cane toads and starlings as model species. We also welcome students interested in studying bioinformatics.


Filter by


Extreme competence: keystone hosts of infections

Lynn Martin, BriAnne Addison, Andrew Bean, Katherine Buchanan, Ondi Crino, Justin Eastwood, Andrew Flies, Rodrigo Hamede, Geoffrey Hill, Marcel Klaassen, Rebecca Koch, Johanne Martens, Constanza Napolitano, Edward Narayan, Lee Peacock, Alison Peel, Anne Peters, Nynke Raven, Alice Risely, Michael Roast, Lee Rollins, Manuel Ruiz-Aravena, Dan Selechnik, Helena Stokes, Beata Ujvari, Laura Grogan

(2019), Vol. 34, pp. 303-314, Trends in ecology & evolution, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


Immune and environment-driven gene expression during invasion: an eco-immunological application of RNA-Seq

D Selechnik, M Richardson, R Shine, G Brown, L Rollins

(2019), Vol. 9, pp. 6708-6721, Ecology and evolution, Chichester, Eng., C1


Increased adaptive variation despite reduced overall genetic diversity in a rapidly adapting invader

Daniel Selechnik, Mark Richardson, Richard Shine, Jayna DeVore, Simon Ducatez, Lee Rollins

(2019), Vol. 10, pp. 1-14, Frontiers in genetics, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1


Improving amphibian genomic resources: a multitissue reference transcriptome of an iconic invader

M Richardson, F Sequeira, D Selechnik, M Carneiro, M Vallinoto, J Reid, A West, M Crossland, R Shine, L Rollins

(2018), Vol. 7, pp. 1-7, GigaScience, Oxford, Eng., C1


The genetic structure of the introduced house sparrow populations in Australia and New Zealand is consistent with historical descriptions of multiple introductions to each country

S Andrew, M Awasthy, P Bolton, L Rollins, S Nakagawa, S Griffith

(2018), Vol. 20, pp. 1507-1522, Biological invasions, Cham, Switzerland, C1


The ecological and life history correlates of boldness in free-ranging lizards

G Ward-Fear, G Brown, D Pearson, A West, L Rollins, R Shine

(2018), Vol. 9, Ecosphere, Hoboken, N.J., C1


Simulated Disperser Analysis: determining the number of loci required to genetically identify dispersers

A Cardilini, C Sherman, W Sherwin, L Rollins

(2018), Vol. 6, pp. 1-18, PeerJ, Corte Madera, Calif., C1


Genetic diversity through time and space: diversity and demographic history from natural history specimens and serially sampled contemporary populations of the threatened Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae)

P Bolton, L Rollins, J Brazill-Boast, K Maute, S Legge, J Austin, S Griffith

(2018), Vol. 19, pp. 737-754, Conservation genetics, New York, N.Y., C1


Viral discovery in the invasive Australian cane toad (Rhinella marina) using metatranscriptomic and genomic approaches

Alice Russo, John-Sebastian Eden, Daniel Enosi Tuipulotu, Mang Shi, Daniel Selechnik, Richard Shine, Lee Rollins, Edward Holmes, Peter White

(2018), Vol. 92, Journal of virology, Washington, D.C., C1


Draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad, Rhinella marina

Richard Edwards, Daniel Tuipulotu, Timothy Amos, Denis O'Meally, Mark Richardson, Tonia Russell, Marcelo Vallinoto, Miguel Carneiro, Nuno Ferrand, Marc Wilkins, Fernando Sequeira, Lee Rollins, Edward Holmes, Richard Shine, Peter White

(2018), Vol. 7, pp. 1-13, Gigascience, Oxford, Eng., C1


The colour of paternity: extra-pair paternity in the wild Gouldian finch does not appear to be driven by genetic incompatibility between morphs

P Bolton, L Rollins, J Brazill-Boast, K-W Kim, T Burke, S Griffith

(2017), Vol. 30, pp. 174-190, Journal of evolutionary biology, Chichester, Eng., C1


The things they carried: the pathogenic effects of old and new parasites following the intercontinental invasion of the Australian cane toad (Rhinella marina)

D Selechnik, L Rollins, G Brown, C Kelehear, R Shine

(2017), Vol. 6, pp. 375-385, International journal for parasitology: parasites and wildlife, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


De novo assembly of the liver transcriptome of the European starling, sturnus vulgaris

M Richardson, W Sherwin, L Rollins

(2017), Vol. 5, pp. 54-57, Journal of genomics, Sydney, N.S.W., C1


Host heterozygosity and genotype rarity affect viral dynamics in an avian subspecies complex

J Eastwood, R Ribot, L Rollins, K Buchanan, K Walder, A Bennett, M Berg

(2017), Vol. 7, pp. 1-11, Scientific reports, London, Eng., C1


Effects of invasion history on physiological responses to immune system activation in invasive Australian cane toads

D Selechnik, A West, G Brown, K Fanson, B Addison, L Rollins, R Shine

(2017), Vol. 5, pp. 1-19, PeerJ, London, Eng., C1


The relative importance of spatial proximity, kin selection and potential 'greenbeard' signals on provisioning behaviour among helpers in a cooperative bird

P McDonald, L Rollins, S Godfrey

(2016), Vol. 70, pp. 133-143, Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, Berlin, Gemany, C1


Selection on mitochondrial variants occurs between and within individuals in an expanding invasion

L Rollins, A Woolnough, B Fanson, M Cummins, T Crowley, A Wilton, R Sinclair, A Butler, W Sherwin

(2016), Vol. 33, pp. 995-1007, Molecular biology and evolution, Oxford, Eng., C1


Extra-pair paternity in the long-tailed finch Poephila acuticauda

E van Rooij, L Rollins, C Holleley, S Griffith

(2016), Vol. 4, pp. 1-10, PeerJ, London, Eng., C1


Colour polymorphism is likely to be disadvantageous to some populations and species due to genetic architecture and morph interactions

P Bolton, L Rollins, S Griffith

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 2713-2718, Molecular ecology, Chichester, Eng., C1


What are we missing about marine invasions? Filling in the gaps with evolutionary genomics

C Sherman, K Lotterhos, M Richardson, C Tepolt, L Rollins, S Palumbi, A Miller

(2016), Vol. 163, pp. 1-24, Marine biology, Berlin, Germany, C1


Three molecular markers show no evidence of population genetic structure in the gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae)

P Bolton, A West, A Cardilini, J Clark, K Maute, S Legge, J Brazill-Boast, S Griffith, L Rollins

(2016), Vol. 11, pp. 1-19, PloS one, San Francisco, Calif., C1


A genetic perspective on rapid evolution in cane toads (Rhinella marina).

L Rollins, M Richardson, R Shine

(2015), Vol. 24, pp. 2264-2276, Molecular Ecology, London, Eng., C1


Assessing the economic benefits of starling detection and control to Western Australia

S Campbell, E Roberts, R Craemer, C Pacioni, L Rollins, A Woolnough

(2015), Vol. 23, pp. 81-99, Australasian journal of environmental management, London, Eng., C1


Is there evidence of selection in the dopamine receptor D4 gene in Australian invasive starling populations?

L Rollins, M Whitehead, A Woolnough, R Sinclair, W Sherwin

(2015), Vol. 61, pp. 505-519, Current zoology, Oxford, Eng., C1


Expected shannon entropy and shannon differentiation between subpopulations for neutral genes under the finite island model

A Chao, L Jost, T Hsieh, K Ma, W Sherwin, L Rollins

(2015), Vol. 10, pp. 1-24, PLoS One, San Francisco, Calif., C1


Sequential polyandry through divorce and re-pairing in a cooperatively breeding bird reduces helper-offspring relatedness

M Warrington, L Rollins, A Russell, S Griffith

(2015), Vol. 69, pp. 1311-1321, Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, Berlin, Germany, C1-1


The danger within: The role of genetic, behavioural and ecological factors in population persistence of colour polymorphic species

P Bolton, L Rollins, S Griffith

(2015), Vol. 24, pp. 2907-2915, Molecular ecology, London, Eng., C1


Unrelated helpers neither signal contributions nor suffer retribution in chestnut-crowed babblers

F Nomano, L Browning, J Savage, L Rollins, S Griffith, A Russell

(2015), Vol. 26, pp. 986-995, Behavioral ecology, Oxford, Eng., C1


Causes of male sexual trait divergence in introduced populations of guppies

A Lindholm, M Head, R Brooks, L Rollins, F Ingleby, S Zajitschek

(2014), Vol. 27, pp. 437-448, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, C1


Personality in captivity: more exploratory males reproduce better in an aviary population

L McCowan, L Rollins, S Griffith

(2014), Vol. 107, pp. 150-157, Behavioural processes, Amsterdam, Netherlands, C1


All signals are not equal: acoustic signalling of individuality, sex and breeding status in a cooperative breeder

M Warrington, P McDonald, L Rollins, S Griffith

(2014), Vol. 93, pp. 249-260, Animal behaviour, London, England, C1


Isolation and characterisation of polymorphic microsatellite loci for Noisy Miners Manorina melanocephala, with successful cross-amplification in Bell Miners M. melanophrys

A Kopps, P McDonald, L Rollins

(2013), Vol. 5, pp. 39-41, Conservation Genetics Resources, C1-1


High genetic diversity is not essential for successful introduction

L Rollins, A Moles, S Lam, R Buitenwerf, J Buswell, C Brandenburger, H Flores-Moreno, K Nielsen, E Couchman, G Brown, F Thomson, F Hemmings, R Frankham, W Sherwin

(2013), Vol. 3, pp. 4501-4517, Ecology and Evolution, C1


Feeding nestlings does not function as a signal of social prestige incooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babblers

F Nomano, L Browning, L Rollins, S Nakagawa, S Griffith, A Russell

(2013), Vol. 86, pp. 277-289, Animal Behaviour, C1-1


Genetic monogamy despite variable ecological conditions and social environment in the cooperatively breeding apostlebird

M Warrington, L Rollins, N Raihani, A Russell, S Griffith

(2013), Vol. 3, pp. 4669-4682, Ecology and evolution, London, England, C1-1


Building genetic networks using relatedness information: A novel approach for the estimation of dispersal and characterization of group structure in social animals

L Rollins, L Browning, C Holleley, J Savage, A Russell, S Griffith

(2012), Vol. 21, pp. 1727-1740, Molecular Ecology, C1-1


Kin selection, not group augmentation, predicts helping in an obligate cooperatively breeding bird

L Browning, S Patrick, L Rollins, S Griffith, A Russell

(2012), Vol. 279, pp. 3861-3869, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, C1-1


Mothers adjust offspring sex to match the quality of the rearing environment

S Pryke, L Rollins

(2012), Vol. 279, pp. 4051-4057, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, C1-1


The role of the Ord Arid Intrusion in the historical and contemporary genetic division of long-tailed finch subspecies in northern Australia

L Rollins, N Svedin, S Pryke, S Griffith

(2012), Vol. 2, pp. 1208-1219, Ecology and Evolution, C1-1


Maternal stress to partner quality is linked to adaptive offspring sex ratio adjustment

S Pryke, L Rollins, W Buttemer, S Griffith

(2011), Vol. 22, pp. 717-722, Behavioral Ecology, C1


Parental care in wild and captive zebra finches: Measuring food delivery to quantify parental effort

A Gilby, M Mainwaring, L Rollins, S Griffith

(2011), Vol. 81, pp. 289-295, Animal Behaviour, C1-1


Mitochondrial DNA offers unique insights into invasion history of the common starling

L Rollins, A Woolnough, R Sinclair, N Mooney, W Sherwin

(2011), Vol. 20, pp. 2307-2317, Molecular Ecology, C1-1


Context-dependent sex allocation: Constraints on the expression and evolution of maternal effects

S Pryke, L Rollins, S Griffith

(2011), Vol. 65, pp. 2792-2799, Evolution, C1-1


Sex-dependent selection differentially shapes genetic variation on and off the guppy Y chromosome

E Postma, N Spyrou, L Rollins, R Brooks

(2011), Vol. 65, pp. 2145-2156, Evolution, C1-1


Isolation and characterization of 12 polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite loci in the apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea)

L Rollins, C Holleley, J Wright, A Russell, S Griffith

(2010), Vol. 2, pp. 229-231, Conservation Genetics Resources, C1-1


Females use multiple mating and genetically loaded sperm competition to target compatible genes

S Pryke, L Rollins, S Griffith

(2010), Vol. 329, pp. 964-967, Science, C1-1


Invasive species can't cover their tracks: Using microsatellites to assist management of starling (Sturnus vulgaris) populations in Western Australia

L Rollins, A Woolnough, A Wilton, R Sinclair, W Sherwin

(2009), Vol. 18, pp. 1560-1573, Molecular Ecology, C1-1


Population genetic tools for pest management: A review

L Rollins, A Woolnough, W Sherwin

(2006), Vol. 33, pp. 251-261, Wildlife Research, C1-1


Genetic architecture of sexually selected traits - lessons from guppies

R Brooks, L Rollins, N Spyrou

(2006), pp. 1-4, Proceedings of the 8th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production 2006, Minas Gerais, Brazil, E1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

The danger within: assessing the threats to an endangered finch from genetic incompatibility, limited dispersal and effective population size

Dr Simon Griffith, Dr Lee Rollins

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2015: $20,000
  • 2014: $22,444
  • 2013: $30,000

The evolution of phenotypic plasticity during a biological invasion

Prof Richard Shine, Dr Lee Rollins

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2017: $54,069
  • 2016: $68,407

Other Public Sector Funding

Developing genetic tools for managing Sambar Deer

Dr Lee Rollins

  • 2013: $5,000

Delimiting historical deer distributions and determining the origin of 'new' deer populations in Victoria

Dr Lee Rollins

  • 2014: $7,272


Associate Supervisor

Adam Cardilini

Thesis entitled: Phenotypic and genetic variation of non-native common starling, Sturnus vulgaris

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), Faculty Office- Science, Engineering & Built Environment

Adam Cardilini

Thesis entitled: Phenotypic and genetic variation of non-native common starling, Sturnus vulgaris

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences