I’m a researcher studying the biodiversity and taxonomy of parasitoid wasps in Australia, with a passion for communicating about biodiversity, insects and species discovery.


Hi! Want to chat wasps, or ask about a community or school visit?

I’m based at The University of Adelaide – feel free to send me a message below, or email me.


About me

I’m currently an Australian Biological Resources Study funded Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Adelaide, and an Honorary Research Associate at The South Australian Museum.

I study the taxonomy and systematics of parasitoid wasps. This means I describe new species, giving them names and a formal description so that they can be identified by scientists and the public, and also look at how those species are related to each other through time. I completed my PhD at The University of Adelaide on a group of wasps called the Microgastrinae in 2019, and continue to work on describing and documenting their biodiversity. These wasps are parasitoids of butterfly and moth caterpillars, and are important in the environment for controlling caterpillar populations.

I am passionate about outreach, and hold a Masters in Science Communication Outreach from the Australian National University, where I spent a year travelling around to schools and helping to run public science exhibitions with the Questacon Science Circus.

I have worked as a science communicator for a not-for-profit science outreach organisation, developing and presenting workshops and interactive science shows to school children and the public.

I give numerous talks and interactive lectures on insects, wasps and biodiversity every year to community groups or schools, and love sharing the wonderful world of insects with people.

Find out more about my day-to-day life whilst I was completing my PhD from 2015-2018 at my blog (suitable for school students) or check out my published research, or there’s some videos and media links here!

I do work in the lab, but my favourite part of entomology is being in the field – below is a video of a Bush Blitz trip in 2017 to the Great Victoria Desert in South Australia!



I love to talk about wasps, entomology, taxonomy and biodiversity! I enjoy giving community lectures and have given talks for groups such as Butterfly Conservation Society South Australia, Friends of the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens, the Junior Field Naturalists, and Bright Sparks Science Club. I have won science communication competitions including the Faculty of Science Three Minute Thesis at The University of Adelaide (2017) and Famelab Australia (2016).

Below are some selected videos that explore my research.

Children’s University – a short video on my research

SCOPE TV: 2017

Australia Famelab Winner 2016

Scope 2019

Selected articles about my research:

Australian Geographic Women in Entomology

Crinkling News story on parasitoid wasps

The Advertiser story on Famelab

Selected Radio:

2SER Breakfast (2016)

The Science Show (2016) – recording of FameLab Australia Final


Published Papers:

Fagan-Jeffries EP, Austin AD. (2020) Synopsis of the parasitoid wasp genus Cotesia Cameron, 1891 (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae) in Australia, with the description of seven new species, European Journal of Taxonomy 667, pp. 1-70.

Quicke DLJ, Austin AD, Fagan‐Jeffries EP, Hebert PDN & Butcher BA. (2020) Molecular phylogeny places the enigmatic subfamily Masoninae within the Ichneumonidae, not the Braconidae. Zoologica Scripta 49, 64–71. https://doi.org/10.1111/zsc.12390.

Quicke DLJ, Austin AD, Fagan‐Jeffries EP, Hebert PDN & Butcher BA. (2020) Recognition of the Trachypetidae stat.n. as a new extant family of Ichneumonoidea (Hymenoptera), based on molecular and morphological evidence. Systematic Entomology 45, syen.12426. https://doi.org/10.1111/syen.12426.

Austin AD & Fagan-Jeffries EP. (2020) A new species of the enigmatic Australian endemic family Trachypetidae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea): Cercobarcon lasallei sp.n. Journal of Natural History 54, 553–563. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2020.1747652.

Dorey B, Fagan-Jeffries EP, Stevens MI & Schwarz MP. (2020) Morphometric comparisons and novel observations of diurnal and low-light-foraging bees. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 79, 117–144. https://doi.org/10.3897/JHR.79.57308

Quicke DLJ, Belokobylskij SA, Braet Y, van Achterberg C, Hebert, PDN, Prosser SWJ, Austin AD, Fagan-Jeffries EP, Ward DF, Shaw MR, Butcher BA. (2020) Phylogenetic reassignment of basal cyclostome braconid parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera) with description of a new, enigmatic Afrotropical tribe with a highly anomalous 28S D2 secondary structure. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society zlaa037, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlaa037.

Fagan-Jeffries EP, Cooper SJB, Austin AD. (2019) New species of Australian microgastrine parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae) documented through the ‘Bush Blitz’ surveys of national reserves. Zootaxa, 4560, pp. 401-440.

Fagan-Jeffries EP, Cooper SJB, Bradford TM, Austin AD. (2019) Intragenomic ITS2 variation in a genus of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): Implications for accurate species delimitation and phylogenetic analysis. Insect Molecular Biology, 28, pp.485-498. https://doi.org/10.1111/imb.12564 

Fagan-Jeffries EP, Cooper SJB, Austin AD. 2018. Three new species of Dolichogenidea Viereck (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Australia with exceptionally long ovipositors. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 64, pp. 177-190 https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.64.25219

Fagan-Jeffries EP, Cooper SJB, Bertozzi T, Bradford TM, Austin AD. 2018. DNA barcoding of microgastrine parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) using high-throughput methods more than doubles the number of species known for Australia. Molecular Ecology Resources. 18, 1132-1143.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.12904

Fagan-Jeffries EP & Austin AD. 2017. Synopsis of the parasitoid wasp genus Choeras Mason (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae) from Australasia, with the description of two new species. Austral Entomology. 57, 349-358. https://doi.org/10.1111/aen.12283.

Jargon-free blog post about this paper.

Snelling EP, Duncker R, Jones KK, Fagan-Jeffries EP & Seymour RS 2017. Flight metabolic rate of Locusta migratoria in relation to oxygen partial pressure in atmospheres of varying diffusivity and density. Journal of Experimental Biology 220, 4432-4439. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.168187

Taylor GS, Fagan-Jeffries EP, Austin AD. 2016. A new genus and twenty new species of Australian jumping plant-lice (Psylloidea: Triozidae) from Eremophila and Myoporum (Scrophulariaceae: Myoporeae). Zootaxa 4073, 1-84. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4073.1.1

Conference Presentations:

Joint Australian Entomological Society and Society of Australian Systematic Biologists Conference, Adelaide, 2019

The curly case of Cotesia (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): a hyperdiverse genus of lepidopteran parasitoids (oral presentation)

International Society of Hymenopterists Congress,  Matsuyama Japan, 2018

DNA barcoding the Australian microgastrine (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) fauna using a high-throughput approach (oral presentation)

Australian Entomological Society Conference, Alice Springs, 2018

DNA barcoding the Australian microgastrine (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) fauna using a high-throughput approach (oral presentation)

Society of Australian Systematic Biologists Conference, Adelaide 2017 

Using high-throughput amplicon sequencing to explore the biodiversity of Australian microgastrine parasitoid wasps (oral presentation)

Centre for Biodiversity Analysis Conference, Canberra 2017

Using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of museum ethanol collections to explore the biodiversity of Australian microgastrine parasitoid wasps (oral presentation)

International Congress of Entomology, Orlando, Florida 2016

Australian microgastrine parasitoid wasps: Systematics meets citizen science (oral presentation)

School of Biological Sciences Symposium, Adelaide 2016

Systematics and Taxonomy of microgastrine parasitoid wasps (Poster)

Society of Systematic Biologists Conference, Perth 2015

Identifying cryptic species of groundwater-associated amphipod crustaceans (oral presentation)

Systematics and evolution of Australian microgastrine parasitoid wasps: A PhD project with a twist (oral presentation)

Southern Connections Congress, Dunedin, New Zealand 2013

Hidden beneath the surface: exploring the evolution and systematics of Nedsia, a genus of subterranean amphipods from the Pilbara region of Western Australia (Oral presentation)