Philip Batterham


BSc (Hons) LaTrobe (1977)

PhD (Genetics) Monash (1981)


Professor (Genetics) – School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne

President – International Genetics Federation

Council Member, Whitley College

Club Melbourne Ambassador

Member and Deacon – Rosanna Baptist Church

As a university academic my laboratory examines the way in which chemical insecticides impact pest and beneficial insects. Combining our genetic and genomic skills, we collaborate with chemists and structural biologists within the Bio21 Institute with the goal of understanding insect biology well enough that we could develop healthier and more environmentally friendly insect pest control solutions. I love science.

With a substantial background in theatre as a foundation, I have been actively involved in running major conferences and public events in science. My passion for social justice, combined with my research interests, has lead me to actively engage in running events on global health and development. This has connected with work I have done in developing and running student engagement programs at the University of Melbourne.

As a Christian, I take the term to mean a follower of Jesus. I take seriously His commandment to love others and to render practical support to the disadvantaged, whoever they may be. Faith for me is a search for truth, so being a scientist is the perfect vocation.

Science/faith interests

As a biologist whose research is highly relevant to the study of natural selection I am interested in the science/interface regarding creation/evolution.  I do not interpret Genesis 1 and 2 literally, and believe that to do so raises some very ugly questions about God.

In my research I use gene editing technologies (CRISPR) as a research tool in the model organism I work with.  I am very interested in the ethics of the use of the technologies in humans and to curb invasive species and other pests (via Gene Drive).

I am interested in a range of topical issues, that have a genetic basis, e.g., the genetics of homosexuality.

Professional Associations

  • Genetics Society of AustralAsia
  • Genetics Society of America

Selected Publications

Philip Batterham on Google Scholar

Possible Presentation Topics

See Science/Faith Interests