Dr Andrew Walker

Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
+61 7 334 62326


My research interests are centred around the structure and function of venom and silk polypeptides produced by arthropods, and their use in biotechnology and medicine. I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the King laboratory in the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, the University of Queensland, Australia. Currently, I am investigating the composition, function and evolution of neglected insect venoms produced by assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), robber flies (Diptera: Asilidae) and nettle caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae).

Research Interests

  • Evolution of venom systems
    Venom use has evolved >100 times across the tree of life. Venom systems are the subject of increasing attention for studies of molecular evolution, trait evolution, pharmacology, drug discovery, and toxinology.
  • Silk processing and evolution, production of artificial silks
    Silks are protein supermaterials made by arthropods. The production of artificial silks in the laboratory (for example using recombinant arthropod silk proteins expressed in bacteria) has the potential to deliver new smart protein materials with tunable properties and green chemistry.
  • Uniting omics technologies
    Mass spectrometry and next-generation sequencing of RNA and DNA have undergone rapid improvements in sensitivity and decrease in cost. Integrating these new technologies offers a powerful platform for biodiscovery and experimentation.
  • Biodiscovery from insects
    Insects are the most diverse class, probably accounting for the majority of eukaryotic species and containing many novel evolutionary innovations. This diversity can be harnessed for the biodiscovery of new molecules with applications in research, biotechnology, and medicine.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Science (Advanced), Australian National University


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  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

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Book Chapter

  • Kameda, Tsunenori, Walker, Andrew A. and Sutherland, Tara D. (2014). Evolution and application of coiled coil silks from insects. Biotechnology of silk. (pp. 87-106) edited by Tetsuo Asakura and Thomas Miller. Dordrecht The Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-7119-2_5

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision