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Personal profile

Administrative Posts

  • Organisms and Environment Theme Leader
  • Member of the BIO Executive (UEA)
  • Biodiversity Theme Leader in ELSA (Earth & Life Sciences Alliance, Norwich Research Park)
  • UEA Ringing Group Founding member

Career

  • Professor in Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation, University of East Anglia (2013)
  • Lecturer then Reader, University of East Anglia (2009 - 2013)
  • NERC Research Fellow, University of East Anglia. (2004 - 2007)
  • Marie Curie Research Fellowship, University of Lund (2001 - 2003)
  • Research Associate, University of Sheffield (1997 - 2001)
  • Ph.D. University of Leicester (1997)
  • B.Sc Applied Biology, Manchester Metropolitan University (1991)

External Activities

  • NERC, BBSRC and Leverhulme Trust grant reviewer (2004 -)
  • Research Council of Norway - funding committee member (2017-)
  • Consultancy for Nature Seychelles (2001 - )
  • Advisor to the Republic of Seychelles Government (Dept. Environment) 

Enterprise and Engagement Activities

  • Public lectures for numerous NGOs including RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology, Nature Seychelles (2001 - present)

Key Research Interests

 

Current Research Projects

  • Understanding the cuases and consequences of gut microbiome variation in a natural population.
  • Telomeres as bioindicators of the factors causing differential ageing in wild populations
  • Transgenerational impacts of ageing in wild populations
  • The evolution of cooperative breeding
  • The benefits of mate choice
  • The role of the Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in sexual selection and parasite resistance
  • The role of drift and selection in shaping genetic variation within and among bird populations on island archipelagos
  • Population genetics and conservation of endemic bird species (e.g. the Seychelles warbler, the Cape Verde warbler
  • Mating systems and conservation genetics in marine turtles
  • Work on the Seychelles warbler is undertaken in collaboration with Nature Seychelles

 

Life in our research group

We use a powerful combination of fieldwork, molecular and analytical techniques to investigate a range of questions in evolutionary and behavioural ecology. Fieldwork focuses mainly on birds in exotic island locations which provide excellent self-contained natural laboratories in which to work. Lab work is undertaken in the extensive, well equipped molecular ecology labs at UEA. We are a dynamic, international group of students and postdocs that share interests, enthusiasm and social life! We have our own lab meetings and journal clubs to keep up with our research areas, but also engage with the seminars in BIO and beyond. Recent academic highlights have included the Annual ‘Rebellion’ student conference organised by the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation here at UEA (of which we are part), and a trip to Prague for the 2022 European Society for Evolutionary Biology conference.

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Postdocs & Fellows

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations. Possible funding routes include applying for fellowships, e.g. EU Marie Curie fellowships, with me acting as sponsor, or grant applications with you as a named postdoc.

Areas of Expertise

Parentage and mating systems in animals; bird conservation; cooperative breeding. Ageing in wild populations

Teaching Interests

All areas of molecular and evolutionary ecology, with key interests in areas of behavioural ecology, conservation genetics and populations genetics.

Biography

I am an evolutionary ecologist with primary interests in the use of  molecular markers, genetics and genomics to address questions in evolutionary, behavioural and conservation ecology. I mainly use model avian systems, including species such as the Seychelles warbler, Berthelot’s pipit and red junglefowl, to investigate the adaptive significance of reproductive and life history strategies, the causes and consequences of individual variation in ageing, host-parasite co-evolution and to study stress and senescence in wild populations. The conservation of endangered island bird species (e.g. the Seychelles warbler) is also a very important part of my work.

Video

ResearcherID

Keywords

  • QH301 Biology
  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Conservation
  • Molecular ecology
  • Cooperative breeding
  • Population genetics
  • MHC
  • Telomeres
  • Immune genes
  • Sexual selection
  • Senescence

Network

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or