• The University of Western Australia (M092), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Theodore Evans is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia in the School of Biological Sciences. He completed his university education across Perth, Townsville and Melbourne, just about covering the corners of the country, with a British Council Bursary to Sheffield in the UK.  Theo works across behaviour, ecology and evolution in discovery and applied science.  He works mostly with invertebrate taxa, especially Insecta and Chelicerata, but also Crustacea, Annelida and Mollusca, and mostly in terrestrial habitats, but sometimes in marine habitats.

Theo is best known for his work on termites (Isoptera).  He has around 30 years of research experience, about half at the CSIRO, with the other half split between the National University of Singapore and the University of Western Australia.  He has worked on termites in many parts of the world, with fieldwork in over 20 countries on six continents, particularly Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and the USA.  He has worked on just about every aspect of termite biology, particularly their evolution, ecology, genetics, behaviour, and pest management systems – which termite researchers have a hard time avoiding. 

Theo has made many breakthrough discoveries, including how termites use vibration signals to determine the size of a piece of wood and identify other termites and predator ants.  He has worked on every type of termite pest management system, from chemical barriers in soil and plastic, physical barriers, dusts, baiting systems, biological control – even electrical barriers, with almost manufactures, large and small.  Theo has found termites have benefits too, including increasing soil nutrients and moisture, improving wheat yields and seedling survival.  This research has been recorded in around 120 papers in the scientific literature. 

Theo has held many professional appointments.  He has served on Standard Associations, and advisory committees for Governments in Australia, Fiji and the USA.  Theo has provided consultancy services to many Multinational and national Corporations.  He has served as an expert witness in several court cases. 

Roles and responsibilities


School Academic Integrity Officer

UWA Lead, National Dung Beetle Ecosystem Engineer Research Project 

Funding overview

Career funding

$3.7m Industry funding
$7.3m National competitive funding

Previous positions

2015 –  University of Western Australia.  Associate Professor of Applied Entomology

2011 – 2015  National University of Singapore.  Associate Professor of Environmental Biology

2005 – 11  CSIRO Entomology.  Principal Research Scientist & team leader 

2003-2004  Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany 

1995 - 2002  CSIRO Entomology.  Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Scientist. 

Teaching overview

Theo coordinates and teaches two core units in Zoology:  ANIM2207 Animal Form and Function.  Plus one masters unit in Agriculture:  AGRI5507:  Integrated Pest Managment. 

He created and has received New Columbo Plan funding for ANIM2297 Wildlife conflict in the tropics.  This unit involves a field trip to Sri Lanka to expose students to these issues, but in entirely different context to expose assumptions acquired in Australia.  

He contributes to teaching in several other units in Biology and Agriculture, including BIOL1131, AGRI1001, ANIM2001, SCIE3314. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Zoology, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 30 Mar 1996

Zoology, Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 17 Apr 1990

Zoology, Marine Biology, Bachelor of Science, James Cook University (QLD)

Award Date: 13 May 1989

Management, Accelerated Leadership Program , University of New South Wales

2007 → …

External positions

Advisor, Biosecurity Authority, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji


Member, Field Cooperative Program, Kyoto University

2019 → …

Member, Grains Pest Advisory Committee, Grains Research & Development Corporation


Member, National Tramp Ant Management Committee, Government of Australia


Member, Termite Management Panel Standard 3660, Standards Australia


Member, Scientific Advisory Panel on Termite Baiting, United States Environmental Protection Agency

2002 → …

Industry keywords

  • Agriculture and Food
  • Built Environment
  • Environmental

Research expertise keywords

  • Entomology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Ecosystem services
  • Bioacoustics
  • Termite
  • Dung Beetle


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