I am an ecologist captivated with the wonders of nature.

 

My research is in animal behaviour, evolutionary ecology, and conservation. I integrate theories and techniques from multiple fields to design holistic projects that tackle novel questions in biology. A life-long fascination has made me most knowledgeable about the natural history of reptiles and amphibians, and my research with herpetofauna has led more broadly into the fields of behavioural and evolutionary biology. My research covers diverse topics like animal cognition, developmental plasticity, overwintering ecology, urban ecology, natural history of reptiles, and conservation biology.

My current focus is understanding the evolution of sociality through the use of reptilian model systems. By studying cryptic sociality in the Australian Egernia group of skinks, African girdled lizards, and North American Painted Turtles (Chrysemys pictamyself and collaborators are answering questions like - what are the evolutionary origins of family living? How do reptiles benefit from living in groups or with family? What is the nature of these reptile's social behaviour?

Current Positions

Claude Leon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Botany & Zoology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Adjunct Professor

Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada

Contact Details

Email: julia.riley87@gmail.com

Post:   Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa