Professor J William O Ballard
Ballard Lab Website: http://billb.babs.unsw.edu.au/
- 2013-current: Professor, School of BABS
- 2008-2013: Professor & Head of School, BABS
- 2006-2008: Professor, School of BABS
- 2001-2006: Professor, University of Iowa, Iowa City
- 1998-2001: Pritzker Curator, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL
- 1995-1998: Assistant Curator, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL
Ballard's research is focused but has broad application in the fields of population genetics and ageing. He has published significant invited reviews e.g. Ballard and Rand (2005), Ballard and Whitlock (2004). Notable among these is Ballard and Whitlock, which has been cited over 280 times and is now recognised as an ISI Citation Classic.
In the field of population genetics his work has informed the debate questioning whether biological species can be defined on the basis of mitochondrial DNA (Ballard and Rand (2005), Ballard (2004) and Ballard and Whitlock (2004)). He was the first to show that mtDNA can influence multiple life-history traits, including lifespan, development time, physical activity and frequency of genotypes in population cages (James and Ballard (2003), Ballard et al. (2007)). Examination of the evolutionary forces that influence mitochondrial DNA continues to be relevant with the increasing use of 'DNA Barcoding' to describe species diversity.
In the field of ageing he has questioned how and why specific mutations influence bioenergetics. He has recently published the quaternary structure model of Drosophila Complex IV of the electron transport chain. This enables him to make functional predictions of specific mutations. Over the past five years, he has developed a battery of assays necessary for the detection of bioenergetic differences within a single species of Drosophila (Ballard et al. (2007), Melvin and Ballard (2006) and Ballard et al. (2007)). These assays will be used in future studies linking bioenergetics with diet. In February 2008 he collaborated on a PNAS paper that was the first use of the Geometric Framework to explore diet restriction and longevity in Drosophila (Lee et al. (2008)).
Honours & Awards
- Foundation Director Roy J Carver Centre for Comparative Genomics University of Iowa
- Pritzker Chair of Biosystematics Field Museum, Chicago, USA
- NSF CAREER Special Creativity Extension. (Note: the Special Creativity Extension is unsolicited and is extremely rare. It followed an NSF CAREER Grant that was ranked the highest in its round.)
- NH&MRC CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellow
Active Research Projects
- Bioenergetics and Mitochondrial Metabolism
- Coevolution of Hosts and their Symbionts
- Dietary Restriction and Longevity
- Genetic Variation in the Australian Dingo
Wolff, J.N., Nafasinia, M., Sutovsky, P. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2013)
Paternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA as an integral part of mitochondrial inheritance in metapopulations of Drosophila simulans.
Heredity. 110(1): 57-62.
Horan, M.P., Rumbly, J.N. Melvin, R.G. Le Couteur, D.G. & Ballard J.W.O. (2012)
Quaternary protein modelling to predict the function of DNA variation found in human mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase.
Journal of Human Genetics. Accepted 21/11/2012.
Pichaud, N., Ballard, J.W.O., Tanguay, R.M. & P.U. Blier, P.U. (2012)
Temperature effects on mitochondria introgressed within foreign but closely related nuclear background: A case of mitochondrial adjustment.
Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes. Accepted 21/08/2012
Correa, C.C. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2012)
Wolbachia gonadal density in female and male Drosophila vary with laboratory adaptation and respond differently to physiological and environmental challenges.
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 111: 197-204.
Horan, M.P. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2012)
Application of chromosome conformation capture in the study of human disease.
In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0024383
Aw, W.C., Dowell, F. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2012)
Determination of the potential for near infra-red spectroscopy to resolve the species, gender, age and the presence of Wolbachia in laboratory reared Drosophila.
Genes, Genomes, Genetics. 2: 1057-1065.
Pichaud, N., Ballard, J.W.O., Tanguay, R.M. & Blier, P.U. (2012)
Naturally occurring mitochondrial DNA haplotypes exhibit metabolic differences: Insight into functional properties of mitochondria.
Evolution. 66: 3189-3197.
Correa, C.C. Aw, W.C, Melvin, R.G., Pichaud, N. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2012)
Mitochondrial DNA variants influence mitochondrial bioenergetics in Drosophila melanogaster.
Mitochondrion. 12: 459-464.
Wolff, J.N., Brooks, R., Shearman, D. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2012)
Selective enrichment and sequencing of whole mitochondrial genomes in the presence of nuclear encoded mitochondrial pseudogenes (Numts).
PLoS One. 7: e37142
Faith, D.P., Köhler, F., Puslednik, L. & Ballard, J.W.O (2012)
Corroboration assessments and recent progress towards integrative systematics: A reply to Farris and Carpenter. Zootaxa. 323: 65-68.
Horan, M.P., Pichaud, N. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2012)
Review: Quantifying mitochondrial function in complex diseases of ageing.
The Journals of Gerontology. Series A. 67(10): 1022-1035.
Puslednik, L., Russell, R.C. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2012)
Phylogeography of the medically important mosquito Aedes (Ochlerotatus) vigilax (Diptera: Culicidae) in Australasia.
Journal of Biogeography. 39: 1333-1346.
Chung, P.P., Hyne, R.V., Mann, R.M. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2012)
It's all in the genes: How genotype can impact upon response to contaminant expose and the implications for biomonitoring in acquatic systems.
In Environmental Contamination (ed Srivastava, J.K.). Intech, Rijeka, Croatia, pp. 111-136.
Puslednik, L., Yeates, D.K., Faith, D. P. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2011)
Protein- protein interactions and the cytochrome c oxidase DNA barcoding region.
Systematic Entomology. 37: 229-236.
Aw, W.C., Correa, C.C., Clancy, D.J. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2011)
Mitochondrial DNA variants in Drosophila melanogaster are expressed at the level of the organismal phenotype.
Mitochondrion. 11: 756-763.
Pichaud, N., Ballard, J.W.O., Tanguay, R. & Blier, P.U. (2011)
Thermal sensitivity of mitochondrial functions in permeabilized muscle fibers from two populations of Drosophila simulans with divergent mitotypes.
American Journal of Physiology. 301: R48-R59.
Melvin, R.G. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2011)
Females with a mutation in a nuclear encoded mitochondrial protein pay a higher cost of survival than do males in Drosophila.
The Journals of Gerontology B. 66(7):765-70.
Ballard, J.W.O. & Melvin, R.G. (2011)
Early life benefits and later life costs of a two amino acid deletion in Drosophila simulans.
Evolution. 65: 1400-1412.
Cairns, K.C., Wilton, A. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2011)
The identification of dingoes in a background of hybrids.
Nova Science Publishers, Inc.Hauppauge, NY, USA. (Peer-reviewed book chapter)
Faith, D.P., Köhler, F., Puslednik, L. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2011)
Phylogenies with corroboration assessment.
Zootaxa. 2946: 52-56.
Chung, P.P., Hyne, R.V., Mann, R.M. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2011)
Temporal and geographical genetic variation in the amphipod Melita plumulosa (Crustacea: Melitidae): Link of a localized change in haplotype frequencies to a chemical spill.
Chemosphere. 82: 1050-1055.
Pichaud, N., Chatelain, E.H., Ballard, J.W.O., Tanguay, R., Morrow, G. & Blier, P.U. (2010)
Thermal sensitivity of mitochondrial metabolism in two distinct mitotypes of Drosophila simulans: Evaluation of mitochondrial plasticity.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 213: 1666-1675.
Cairns, K.C., Wolff J.N., Brooks R.C. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2010)
Evidence of recent population expansion in the field cricket Teleogryllus commodus.
Australian Journal of Zoology. 58: 33-38.
Ballard, J.W.O. & Melvin, R.G. (2010)
Linking the mitochondrial genotype to the organismal phenotype.
Molecular Ecology. 19: 1523-1539.
Ballard, J.W.O., Melvin, R.G., Lazarou, M., Clissold, F.J. & Simpson, S.J. (2010)
Cost of a naturally occuring two-amino acid deletion in cytochrome c oxidase subunit 7A in Drosophila simulans.
The American Naturalist. 76: E98-E108.
Chatelain E.H., Pichaud, N., Ballard, J.W.O., Tanguay, R.M., Morrow, G & Blier, P.U. (2010)
Functional conservatism among Drosophila simulans flies experiencing different thermal regimes and mitochondrial DNA introgression.
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. 1 December (Epub ahead of print).
Cairns, K.C.,. Wilton, A.N. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2010)
The identification of dingoes in a background of hybrids. (Peer-reviewed book chapter).
Nova Science Publishers Inc., Hauppauge, New York, U.S.A.
Ballard, J.W.O., Puslednik, L., Wolff, J.N. & Russell, R.C. (2009)
Variation under nature: A sesquicentennial DNA barcoding perspective.
Chiang Mai Journal of Science. 36(2): 188-199.
Lee, K.P., Simpson, S.J., Clissold, F.J. Brooks, R., Ballard, J.W.O. & Raubenheimer, D. (2008)
Lifespan and reproduction in Drosophila: new insights from nutritional geometry.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 105: 2498-2503.
Melvin, R.G., Katewa, S.D. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2008)
A candidate complex approach to study functional mitochondrial DNA changes: Sequence variation and quaternary structure modeling of Drosophila simulans cytochrome c oxidase.
Journal of Molecular Evolution. 66(3): 232-242.
Kenny, M.C., Wilton, A.N. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2008)
Seasonal trade-off between starvation resistance and cold resistance in temperate wild-caught Drosophila simulans.
Australian Journal of Entomology. 47: 20-23.
Ballard, J.W.O., Melvin, R.G. & Simpson, S.J. (2008)
Starvation resistance is positively correlated with body lipid proportion in five wild caught Drosophila simulans populations.
Journal of Insect Physiology. 54 (9): 1371-1376.
Chung, P.P., Hyne, R.V., Mann, R.M. & Ballard, J.W.O. (2008)
Genetic and life-history trait variation of the amphipod Melita plumulosa from polluted and unpolluted waterways in eastern Australia.
Science of the Total Environment. 403(1-3): 222-229.
Van Voorhies, W.A., Melvin, R.G., Ballard, J.W.O. & Williams, J. (2008)
Validation of manometric microrespirometers for measuring oxygen consumption in small arthropods.
International Journal of Insect Physiology. 54(7): 1132-1137.