My main interests are in molecular ecology and conservation genetics, in particular the use of molecular methods to elucidate patterns of genetic diversity to aid conservation efforts.
For my final-year undergraduate project, I used 8 microsatellites to investigate the genetic diversity of two Polish populations of the natterjack toad (Bufo calamita), supervised by Professor Trevor Beebee. My results were consistent with previous studies, confirming that B. Calamita survived in an ice-age refugium in Iberia, from which the population dispersed in a leptokurtic fashion, spreading north and east during the last interstadial.
The aim of my PhD is to determine if tolerance to metal pollutants in trout (Salmo trutta L.) is genetic (adaptation) or environmental (acclimation), or a mixture of both. In order to identify the potential genetic component of the tolerance to metals observed in some populations of trout, I am identifying genetic markers (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms = SNPs) associated with each behavioural type, metal naive or metal tolerant. This SNP panel will be used to screen a wider range of trout from rivers across the region to better understand patterns of metal tolerance in southwest England, an area with a long history of metal contamination.
2009-2012 BSc Ecology and Conservation (Hons) University of Sussex (First Class)
John Maynard Smith Award for Ecology & Conservation (2012)
The University of Exeter, The Queen's Drive, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QJ
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