I am an evolutionary biologist, with a broad interest ranging from behavioural ecology, to disease ecology, to conservation and population dynamics. I have worked on a number of different species, including Eurasian lynx, Red squirrels, Siberian jays (birds), Australian field crickets and fruit flies. The common denominator for everything I have done to date is a keen interest in evolution and ecology, and in exploring the factors that influence the evolutionary process.
Link to my Google Scholar Citations.
My current research program is based in ecological immunity, and is the result of a growing interest in the impact of disease on key life-history and behavioural traits in animals. In particular, I am fascinated by the potential for disease to influence the outcomes of interactions between individuals, specifically between parent and offspring, and how these interactions may be affected by intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as age and environment. To answer these questions, I take a lab-based experimental approach, currently using Drosophila melanogaster as the study organism. This work done in collaboration with Dr. Damian Dowling, and there is currently one research assistant working on the project (Elizabeth Cassidy). Some of the results coming out of this research can be found here and here.
I am also involved in an ARC discovery funded project together with Damian Dowling and Paco Garcia-Gonzalez. In this work, we explore the influence of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) on sexual conflict and in shaping sex differences, and how this relates to ageing. Output from this work will be available shortly.
• 2000 – Honours Uppsala University/Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
This project focused on activity patterns and foraging in Eurasian lynx (Lynx Lynx), and involved a lot of field work as well as lab work.
• 2002-2006 – PhD, Uppsala University, Sweden.
My Phd project was a merge between behavioural ecology and population biology in a social bird species, the Siberian jay (Perisoreus infaustus). The focus of this work revolved around the influence of family group-living and sociality on life-history and specific behaviours (e.g. risk-taking). I also explored how life-history varied spatially, across heterogeneous environments. Some of the output from this work can be found here , here and here.
• 2008-2010 – Postdoc, University of Western Australia.
Swedish Research Council (VR) funded postdoctoral fellowship to go to the University of Western Australia and work with Prof. Leigh Simmons . In this work, I applied a quantitative genetic approach to the study of life-history, using a lab-population of Australian Field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus). More details of this work can be found here and here.
• 2011/2012 – ongoing – Postdoc, Monash University, Australia.
Australia Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (ARC APD), and Margaret Clayton Women in Research Postdoctoral Fellowship, Melbourne, Australia. Details on this work is presented under Current Research.