Primary research interest

Evolutionary genetics and genomics of parasitic arthropods

Research focus and collaborations

At present, I study the ticks of Australia and elsewhere (50 papers published) including two monographs, "Barker & Walker (2014) Ticks of Australia. The species that infest domestic animals and humans” (144 pages) and "Barker & Barker (2023) Ticks of Australasia: 125 species of ticks in and around Australia" (644 pages). 


  • Professor Lance Durden, Georgia South University, Statesboro, GA
  • Professor Dmitry Apanaskevich, The Smithsonian & Georgia South University, Statesboro, GA
  • Dr Ben Mans, Onderstepoort Veterinary Instituted Pretoria, South Africa 
  • Dr Renfu Shao, University of Sunshine Coast, QLD
  • Dr Ryo Nakao, University of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Japan 
  • Dr Alex Gofton, CSIRO
  • Captian Chris Peatey & Ms Donna Mackenzie, Australian Defense Force 
  • Professor Marcelo Labruna, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Dr Alan R. Walker, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, Scotland

Funded projects

  • Portugal Science and Technology (PTDC)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
  • National Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

Teaching interests 

Genetics, Genomics and Parasitology especially PARA3002 (Biomedical Parasitology), which I have coordinated for 25 years.

Achievements and awards

  • Resident Scientist at Durack State School, Western Brisbane. I have been the resident scientist at this school for 15 years.
  • Engagement with families of primary-school aged children on the control of head lice eg Inaugural National Head Lice Awareness Days since Friday 4 February 2011.

Student supervision

Available projects:

  • Insights into the function and evolution of mitochondria (mt), and the animals that harbour these mt, from entire nuclear and mt transcriptomes (Illumina HiSeq data) and from entire mt genome transcripts (PacBio data)
  • Phylogeny of soft ticks: join the International Tick Tree of Life Project.
  • Phylogeny (evolutionary history) of ticks predicted from the nucleotide sequences (mitochondrial and SSU rRNA). Students will sequence part of the mitochondrial genomes of  ticks from Africa and elsewhere then use a computer to predict the evolutionary tree of the ticks

Featured publications