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  • NERC Independent Research Fellow
  • Genetics, Evolution & Environment
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

My scientific education has been mainly based in Australia. I went to the University of Queensland (Brisbane) as an undergraduate student, where I majored in Genetics and Evolutionary Biology. I then moved to Monash University (Melbourne) for Honours and PhD. Following my PhD,  was awarded a Marie SÅ‚odowska-Curie Fellowship in 2016 to come to UCL, where I have stayed ever since. 

Research Themes
Research Summary

Mito-nuclear interactions
I have a slight obsession when it comes to understanding the role mito-nuclear interactions play in evolutionary biology. These two genomes have been coevolving since the dawn of Eukaryotic life, and it's remarkable that they have been able to harmoniously coevolve for this long given the major differences between them.  I use Drosophila as a model to uncouple the effect of both genomes, and observe the life-history consequences. To this end, we recently created a large mito-nuclear panel with hopes to test for both mito-nuclear coadaptation and look for signatures of Mothers Curse. 

In collaboration with Nick Lane, we are looking more at the mechanisms that underpin mito-nuclear responses to different environmental treatments. 

Sex differences in nutritional requirements
I also very keen in understanding sex differences in metabolism, with this being in collaboration with Max Reuter.  Males and females perform different reproductive roles and have adapted to these by evolving sometimes strikingly different phenotypes. A key means to observe and understand differences is to examine metabolism, with studies being able to link differences in diet composition to varying levels of phenotypes. In spite of the clear dimorphism observed across the animal kingdom, both sexes are locked into a struggle over adaptation, rooted in the fact that both sexes share an almost identical genome.

I am interested in identifying the dietary optimum for both males/females in Drosophila , and seeing if this dietary optimum is actually what males and females prefer when given a choice. I am also interested in identifying possible candidate genes that are involved in the diet decision-making.

Teaching Summary

I lecture in two undergraduate courses:
- BIOL0011: Evolutionary Genetics
- BIOL0028: Field module in Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics

I have guest lectured in: 
- BIOL0001: Quantitative Biology 

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