Dr Luke Chenoweth

Exhibitions Coordinator

+61 8 8207 7426


Quick background

Luke started work at the Museum in July 2012 as Project Coordinator, and later on-site manager, for the upgrade and refit of the Museums’ Terrestrial Invertebrates, Mammalogy, and Ornithology collection facilities. Since November 2015 Luke has taken on the role of Exhibitions Coordinator, where he is responsible for coordinating project, operational and administrative services to help deliver SA Museum’s exhibitions and special projects. 


Research Interests

Luke’s research interests focus on evolution (particularly social evolution) and biogeography.  A primary feature of his research to date is the exploration of the evolutionary ecology and biology of the allodapine bees (family Apidae: tribe Allodapini). By integrating bionomy, descriptive morphology, taxonomy, and bioinformatics, Luke aims to generate comprehensive and detailed new scenarios for the evolution and biogeographical history of this group.



  • BSc, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University (2005)

  • BSc (Hons), School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University (2006)

  • PhD, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University (2011)


Community Engagement

Insect Collection Refurbishment (UNLOCKED Article), South Australian Museum. 12 December 2012.


Media Expertise

Refurbishment and refit of the South Australian Museum’s Terrestrial Invertebrate Collection and Research Facility.



1. Smith, J. A., Chenoweth, L. B., Tierney, S. M., and Schwarz, M. P. (2013). Repeated origins of social parasitism in allodapine bees indicate the weak form of Emery’s rule is widespread, but no evidence for sympatric speciation. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 109: 320–331.

2. Dew, R. M., Rehan, S.M., Tierney, S.M., Chenoweth, L. B., and Schwarz, M. P. (2012). A single origin of large colony size in allodapine bees suggests a threshold event among 50 million years of evolutionary tinkering. Insectes Sociaux 59: 207–214.

3. Chenoweth, L. B. and Schwarz, M. P. (2011). Biogeographical origins and diversification of the exoneurine allodapine bees of Australia (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Journal of Biogeography 38:1471–1483.

4. Schwarz, M. P., Tierney, S. M., Rehan, S. M., Chenoweth, L. B., and Cooper, S. J. B. (2010). The evolution of eusociality in allodapine bees; workers began by waiting. Biology Letters 7:277–280.

5. Tierney, S. M., Smith, J. A., Chenoweth, L. B., and Schwarz, M. P. (2008). Phylogenetics of allodapine bees: a review of social evolution, parasitism and biogeography. Apidologie 39:3–15.

6. Chenoweth, L. B., Fuller, S., Tierney, S. M., Park, Y. C., and Schwarz, M. P. (2008). Hasinamelissa: a new genus of allodapine bee from Madagascar revealed by larval morphology and DNA sequence data. Systematic Entomology 33:700–710.

7. Chenoweth, L. B., Tierney, S. M., Smith, J. A., Cooper, S. J. B., and Schwarz, M. P. (2007). Social complexity in bees is not sufficient to explain lack of reversions to solitary living over long time scales. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7:246.

8. Chenoweth, L. B. and Schwarz, M. P. (2007). Social biology of two Malagasy Halterapis: evidence that eusociality is plesiomorphic for an ancestral allodapine lineage. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 100:311–319.