Manswini ParidaManaswini Parida is a PhD candidate in the Department of Genetics, University of Melbourne. She is guided by Prof. Ary Hoffmann, Dr. Nancy Margaret Endersby and Dr. Siu Fai Lee. She did her Masters in Zoology from Utkal University, India and is now doing her research as part of the alpine OZTEX group at the Bogong High Plains, Victoria.

Her research sheds light on two native Australian alpine lepidopteran species; hitherto less-known moths, Lomera caespitosae, Oke (or alpine case moth; family: Psychidae) and Oncopera alpina, Tindale (or alpine grass grub / swift moth; family: Hepialidae), often blamed for sporadic occurrence of grass damages in the Australian alps. Her work not only involves an understanding of the plant-insect relationships to uncover the possible reasons for grass deaths but also developing species-specific molecular markers to answer some basic biological questions regarding population gene flow, dispersal and thus extent of damage. Also she is interested to know how both the herbivores and the host plant would mutually affect and be affected under climate change scenario. Such information will be an important addition to our current knowledge on the Australian alpine ecosystem.

For more information contact Manaswini at mparida@student.unimelb.edu.au.