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Personal profile

Biography

I am an evolutionary biologist, working on questions that cross behavioural ecology, population genetics and crop science. I hope that by better understanding how elements of the natural world relate to each other, we can protect and preserve biodiversity at the same time as improving peoples' lives and the prospects of human society.

My current project aims to use Tribolium flour beetles as a model system to explore the ecology and evolution of dispersal. As a post-harvest agricultural pest, understanding dispersal in these beetles, and other similar insect species that pose a threat to food security, could have important implications for human populations.

I have also been involved through the John Innes Centre with MARPLE, a collaborative project led by Dr Diane Saunders, to build a mobile laboratory to diagnose fungal pathogens in Ethiopia. Wheat is a vital part of the economy in East Africa, but novel strains of rust pathogens threaten to decimate crops. By building capacity for fast and accurate strain-level analysis using mobile sequencing technology we can protect peoples' diets and the livlihoods of local farmers.