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.
• 2016 – ongoing – Postdoctoral position, Monash University
Continuing to explore the questions addressed during my recent fellowship.
• 2011/2012 – 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
My current research primarily focuses on transgenerational fitness effects, and specifically, the question of how a stress to a parent in one generation will affect the response of their offspring, when those offspring are themselves exposed to the same stress. To date, I have primarily utilized different sorts of non-pathogenic immune challenges to induce stress to the parents and offspring. Pathogen exposure is an ever-present stressor facing individuals in wild populations, and a stressor which can have multiple implications on a range on key life-history traits. However, the influence of such exposure is often context-dependent, and can vary according to both intrinsic and external factors. This context-dependence is at the heart of much of my work to date, and thus, I have, together with my collaborators, explored a range of factors (e.g. age, sleep deprivation, mitochondrial genotype) that are likely to have an effect on the ultimate stress response in offspring. Accordingly, my most recent work addressed the effect of dietary stress across generations and life-stages on organismal ecology. This work is done in collaboration with A/Prof Damian Dowling and Dr. Matthew Piper. Also working on this project is Ms Camille Hammer, who is employed as a full time research assistant. At this stage, all my work is done using the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster.
I also collaborate with Damian Dowling and Dr Paco Garcia-Gonzalez, on an ARC-funded project that aims at investigating the role of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in shaping the evolution of sex differences and trajectories of adaptation under sexual selection. Output from this work will be available shortly.