My research focuses predominantly on host-parasite evolutionary ecology, it spans controlled laboratory systems, through to natural field ecology. Most of my work studies insects, but I also investigate amphibians, as well as other invertebrates.
Key topics: immune system evolution, Drosophila, entomopathogenic fungi, genetic variation in pathogen defence, host-parasite coevolution, senescence, bumblebee ecology, insect sex ratios, ladybirds, invasive species, ecological impacts of ionizing radiation.
PhD student members:
Katie Murray studies the ecology of parasitism in the invasive harlequin ladybird.
Marco Kubiak studies immune senescence in Drosophila.
Kat Raines sudies the impact of radiological contamination on bumblebees, her work is centred on the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.
Post-docs associated with the lab
Dr Stu Auld is a NERC Fellow who works on parasitism in the freshwater crustacean Daphnia investigating how host parasite coevolution is influenced by host sexual reproduction.
Dr Craig Anderson is a post-doc investigating the impact of chronic radiation exposure in the Chernobyl exclusion zone on the evolution of Drosophila melanogaster.
Dr Adam Hayward is an independent fellow who studies ageing and parsitism in wild animals.
Jess Scriven finsihed her PhD in 2916 carrying out work investigating the comparative ecology of closely related cryptic bumblebee species.
Sumayia Bashir finished her PhD in 2014. She used Drosophila to study interactions between immune defence, metabolism and mitochondrial function.
Danielle Mackenzie finished her Phd in 2014 investigating the mechanisms of immune senescence in Drosophila.
Dr Penelope Whitehorn finished her PhD in 2011, which focussed on the impact of inbreeding on bumblebees and which I co-supervised. Penelope spent some time as a post doc fellow at Stirling investigating the negative effects of insecticides on non-target insects and is now carrying on this work at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.
Dr Andy Dobson is a post-doc who was worked alongside my group for a number of years as an independent. Amongst other topics, he researches the ecology of tick populations as vectors for Lyme disease and other infections of humans and wildlife; he is now based at Edinburgh University.