His current lab at the University of New South Wales studies evolutionary biology and ecology. One of his greatest curiosities is human sexual selection: ‘…what I have always found coolest about evolution is that it can shape our understanding of who we are… it really helps us understand what it means to be alive.’
However, Rob’s interests extend beyond the research side of science. He is actively involved in science communication across a delightfully diverse range of platforms including stand-up comedy, appearances on TV shows like Catalyst, social media, and of course his brilliant book Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll. He has become renowned for his creative and comical ways of communicating the wonders of science to a broad audience.
Many scientists and enthusiasts are challenged with communicating science in a simple and engaging manner – sometimes the stuff is just too complicated. Rob acknowledges that often science communication requires a hook to attract a broader audience, but at the same time that hook should not supersede ‘…the intrinsic value…’ of the actual research.
You have the knowledge and you have the passion, but where do you start communicating science? It’s quite simple and there’s no need to overthink it: ‘…we do [science] because it is interesting…. find what is interesting to you and work outward from there.’