Dr Remko Leijs

Honorary Research Associate Evolutionary Biology Unit and Terrestrial Invertebrates

+61 8 8207 7481


Remko arrived in Adelaide in 1996 from the Netherlands with an overseas scholarship from Flinders University of South Australia to study for a PhD on ‘Evolution of Carpenter bees’. Since then, he has been involved with the Evolutionary Biology Unit and the Terrestrial Invertebrates Section, first as a student and subsequently as a research fellow and research associate on various Australian Research Council-funded projects on stygofauna. 


Research Interests                     

Molecular Biodiversity Assessment of stygofauna and troglofauna
Evolution and taxonomy of groundwater organisms (stygofauna)
Native bees and conservation


Current Research Projects

Taxonomy andsystematics of Koonunga from groundwaters in Southern Australia, with the description of new species.  2012, ABRS Tactical Taxonomy Grant, $ 9000.

Taxonomy of Colletid bees collected on Bush Blitz surveys around Australia (WA, SA, NT), with description of new species.  2012, ABRS Tactical Taxonomy Grant, $30,000.



PhD, Flinders University of South Australia (2000


Community Engagement

Public talks on native bees.



  1. Vergnon,R., Leijs, R., van Nes, E. H., and Scheffer, M.. Repeated parallel evolution reveals limiting similarity in subterranean diving beetles. American Naturalist (in press).
  2. Rehan S. M., Leijs, R., and Schwarz, M. P. (2012). A mid-Cretaceous origin of sociality in xylocopine bees with only two origins of true worker castes indicates severe barriers to eusociality. PlosOne 7:4: e34690. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034690
  3. Leijs, R., van Nes,E. H., Watts, C. H., Cooper, S.J. B., Humphreys, W. F., and Hogendoorn, K. (2012). Evolution of blind beetles in isolated aquifers: a test of alternative modes of speciation. PlosOne 7:3: e34260.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034260
  4. King, R. A. and Leijs, R. (2011). The Australian freshwater amphipods Austrochiltonia australis and Austrochiltonia subtenuis (Amphipoda: Talitroidea: Chiltoniidae) confirmed and two new cryptic Tasmanian species revealed using a combined molecular and morphological approach. Invertebrate Systematics 25: 171–196.
  5. Leijs, R., Bloechl, A., and Koenemann, S. (2011). Bogidiella veneris, a new species of subterranean Amphipoda (Bogidiellidae) from Australia, with remarks on the systematics and biogeography. Journal of Crustacean Biology 31: 566-575. doi: 10.1651/11-3476.1
  6. Leijs, R., Roudnew, B., and Watts,C. H. S. (2010). Paroster extraordinarius  sp. nov.: a new stygobitic diving beetle from the Flinders Ranges, with notes on other diving beetles from the hyporheic in South Australia (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae). Australian Journal of Entomology 49: 66–72.
  7. Leijs, R., Roudnew, B., Mitchell, J. G., and Humphreys, W. F. (2009).  A new method for sampling stygofauna from groundwater fed marshlands. Speleobiology Notes 1: 12–13.
  8. Leijs, R. and Watts, C. H. S. (2008). Systematics and evolution of the Australian subterranean Hydroporine diving beetles (Dytiscidae), with notes on Carabhydrus. Invertebrate Systematics 22: 217–225.
  9. Watts, C. H. S., Hancock, P. J., and Leijs, R.  (2008). Paroster peelensis sp. nov.: a new stygobitic water beetle from alluvial gravels in Northern New South Wales’ (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae).  Australian Journal of Entomology 47: 227–231.
  10. Byrne, M., Yeates, D. K., Joseph, L., Bowler, J., Cooper, S., Donnellan, S. C ., Kearney, M., Keogh, S., Leijs, R., Melville, J., Murphy, D., Porch, N., Williams, M. A., and Wyrwoll, K.-H. (2008). Birth of a biome: Synthesizing environmental and molecular studies of the assembly and maintenance of the Australian arid zone biota. Molecular Ecology. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294x.2008.03899x