I now study science communication from scientific and literary perspectives but continue to collaborate on research on the ecology and physiology of animals.

A complete list of my academic publications can be found here.


Northern quoll - photo from ABC

How can science be communicated via fiction?

In my current work, I am exploring whether scientific ideas, concepts, and facts can be communicated effectively through empathetic, literary forms of writing including non-genre fiction.

In doing so, I aim to develop teaching and mentorship tools and policies to increase cross-cultural empathy and collaboration between the humanities and sciences. My work will build capacity and awareness across disciplinary and public spheres about “real” science and promote the accurate portrayal of scientists in literature and popular and social media. 

Key publications:

  • Niehaus, AC. May 2018. Write fiction to discover. Nature.

  • Niehaus, AC. In review. Perspective-taking in art, fiction, and the watching of animals. Australian Humanities Review

  • Niehaus, AC. In review. Science, fiction, and the two cultures. IJ-ISME

How does the environment drive ageing?

In my previous ARC DECRA research (2013-2018), I investigated how animal performance and physiology affects lifespan. Our experiences affect the way our bodies use energy and modify the DNA we were born with, continually changing us. My work aimed to understand more about how an individual's environment, choices, and behaviours affect the molecular and physiological mechanisms that determine longevity.  

Key publications:

  • Amir Abdul Nasir AF*, Niehaus AC*, Cameron SF, Ujvari B, Madsen T, von Hippel FA, Gao S, Dillon DM, Buck CL, Charters J, Heiniger J, Blomberg S, Wilson RS. In review. Manganese exacerbates seasonal health declines in a suicidally-breeding mammal. *joint first authors

  • Wilson R, Pavlic T, Wheatley R, Niehaus AC, & Levy O. Accepted, August 2018. Modelling escape success in terrestrial predator-prey interactions. Functional Ecology

  • Amir Abdul Nasir AF, Cameron SF, Niehaus AC, Clemente C, von Hippel FA & Wilson RS. In press. Manganese contamination affects the motor performance of wild northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus). Environmental Pollution 

Antechinus in the lab

Antechinus in the lab

I'm fascinated by the differences in physiology and behaviour between males and females of a species.

Over the years, I've studied avian migration and amphibian metamorphosis, run experiments and designed models, and done fieldwork in Australia, Patagonia, western Alaska, Canada, and the US Midwest.