I am broadly interested in the evolutionary ecology of ecological communities, and my background is in entomology and statistics. I use theoretical and empirical methods and try to combine the two as often as possible. My empirical research generally focuses on insect communities, but I have also worked on other systems through collaboration. Some of my research interests include:

How does coevolution alter the effects of climate change on ecological communities?

How do community structure and interactions alter ecosystem functions, such as natural pest control by insect predators?

How does climate change alter ecosystem functions provided by ecological communities?

How do land management regimes influence biodiversity conservation?

More information on me and my labgroup is available at northfieldlab.org

  • Community ecology
  • Theoretical ecology
  • Statistical ecology
  • Biological control
  • 2013 to present - Lecturer, James Cook University
  • 2011 to 2013 - Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin
Research Disciplines
  • JCU Inclusive Practice Award
  • JCU Early Career Researcher Rising Star

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 43+ research outputs authored by Dr Tobin Northfield from 2008 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Lions Foundation - Scientific and Medical Research on Marine Species Dangerous to Humans

Where are they? Using eDNA as a bio-indicator of Box Jellyfish abundance.

Indicative Funding
$4,000 over 1 year
Environmental DNA (eDNA), relates to short snippets of genetic material, released into the environment by an organism, through natural process such as cell sloughing and excretion. Very recently, methods have evolved, allowing this DNA to be filtered out of the environment and used as bio-indicators for processes such as species abundance, and, distribution modeling. This project proposes to run a pilot study, testing efficacy of eDNA as a tool to detect and quantity the abundance of Carukia barnesi polyp. If successful, this information will be used, alongside existing physiological and distribution data, to locate these polyps in the field.
Olivia Rowley, Jamie Seymour and Tobin Northfield (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and College of Science & Engineering)
Cubozoa; Box jellyfish; eDNA; Ecology; Statistical Modelling; Global Climate Change

Powerlink Queensland - Contract Research

Abrasive Blasting - Are There Any Environmental Concerns

Indicative Funding
$74,284 over 1 year
The re-surfacing and re-use of existing high voltage towers instead of removing and replacing with new structures has the potential to alter the way that power transmission infrastructure is used in the long term in Queensland. This project will look at using abrasive blasting in the high value and sensitive landscape of the rainforests of the Wet Tropics and will develop the science narrative around how the process interacts with the local environment.
Michael Liddell, Tobin Northfield, Lucas Cernusak, Anthony Morrison, Simon Berryman and Nicole Lashmar (College of Science & Engineering, Macquarie University and Powerlink Queensland)
Invertebrate Physiology; Ecophysiology; Aerosols

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Fruit development in Theobroma cacao: understanding the limitations to optimized cacao production. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Impacts of Soil Physicochemicol Properties on Suppression of Fusorium wilt of Bananas in North Queensland, Australia. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Attract and infect the Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni, using entomopathogenic fungi (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Physiology and Ecology of Cubozoa (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • An investigation into Australian scorpion venoms (PhD , External Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:

  • E1.102D, Health & Sciences (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
Find me on…
Icon for Scopus Author page

Similar to me

  1. Prof Susan Laurance
    College of Science & Engineering
  2. Prof Sean Connolly
    College of Science & Engineering
  3. Prof Stephen Williams
    College of Science & Engineering
  4. Dr Georgina Gurney
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  5. Dr Jacqueline Lau
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies