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Axel is a professor of molecular immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne. Ever since he was a teenager he has been interested in moths, and has specialised in the taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny of the superfamily Cossoidea, including Cossidae, Sesiidae, Brachodidae and Castniidae, describing more than 170 taxa mostly in these families. This includes moths from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and of course Australia. He is the author or co-author of over 80 scientific papers, including research articles on moth phylogeny, taxonomic descriptions and revisions, biology, faunal lists and new distributions.


Over the last 10 years, he has been working with a group of other Australian entomologists including Doug Hilton, Andy Young, Liz Milla and others on Australia’s monotrysian moths, including Heliozelidae, Adelidae, Opostegidae and Hepialidae, and additional evolutionary primitive families of moths. Other groups of interest include families such as Zygaenidae, Cyclotornidae and Glyphipterigidae. Together with Peter Marriott, he is also part of the Moths of Victoria project team, documenting the faunistics and ecology of Victorian moths.

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