Biography

 I am a molecular ecologist with primary interests in the use of neutral molecular markers and functional genes to address questions in evolutionary and behavioural ecology. I mainly use model avian systems, including species such as the Seychelles warbler, Berthelot’s pipit and red junglefowl, to investigate the adaptive significance of reproductive and life history strategies, to study host-parasite co-evolution and to investigate stress and senescence in wild populations. The conservation of endangered island bird species (e.g. the Seychelles warbler) is also an important part of my work.

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Career History

  • Professor in Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation, University of East Anglia (2013)
  • Lecturer then Reader, University of East Anglia (2009 - 2013)
  • NERC Research Fellow, University of East Anglia. (2004 - 2007)
  • Marie Curie Research Fellowship, University of Lund (2001 - 2003)
  • Research Associate, University of Sheffield (1997 - 2001)
  • Ph.D. University of Leicester (1997)
  • B.Sc Applied Biology, Manchester Metropolitan University (1991)

All Publications

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Gilroy, D. L., Van Oosterhout, C., Komdeur, J., Richardson, D. S.

(2017)

Toll-like receptor variation in the bottlenecked population of the endangered Seychelles warbler,

in Animal Conservation

20

(3)

pp. 235–250

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Batalha, H. R., Wright, D. J., Barr, I., Collar, N. J., Richardson, D. S.

(2017)

Genetic diversity and divergence in the endangered Cape Verde warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis,

in Conservation Genetics

18

(2)

pp. 343–357

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bebbington, K., Kingma, S. A., Fairfield, E. A., Spurgin, L. G., Komdeur, J., Richardson, D. S.

(2017)

Consequences of sibling rivalry vary across life in a passerine bird,

in Behavioral Ecology

28

(2)

pp. 407-418

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Tan, C. K. W., Doyle, P., Bagshaw, E., Richardson, D. S., Wigby, S., Pizzari, T.

(2017)

The contrasting role of male relatedness in different mechanisms of sexual selection in red junglefowl,

in Evolution

71

(2)

pp. 403–420

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Padilla, D. P., Illera, J. C., Gonzalez-Quevedo, C., Villalba, M., Richardson, D. S.

(2017)

Factors affecting the distribution of haemosporidian parasites within an oceanic island,

in International Journal for Parasitology

47

(4)

pp. 225-235

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Natoli, A., Phillips, K. P., Richardson, D. S., Jabado, R. W.

(2017)

Low genetic diversity after a bottleneck in a population of a critically endangered migratory marine turtle species,

in Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology

491

pp. 9-18

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


van de Crommenacker, J., Hammers, M., van der Woude, J., Louter, M., Santema, P., Richardson, D. S., Komdeur, J.

(2017)

Oxidative status and fitness components in the Seychelles warbler,

in Functional Ecology

31

(6)

pp. 1210–1219

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Gilroy, D. L., Phillips, K. P., Richardson, D. S., Van Oosterhout, C.

(2017)

Toll-like receptor variation in the bottlenecked population of the Seychelles warbler: computer simulations see the ‘ghost of selection past’ and quantify the ‘drift debt’,

in Journal of Evolutionary Biology

30

(7)

pp. 1276–1287

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


McDonald, G. C., Spurgin, L. G., Fairfield, E. A., Richardson, D. S., Pizzari, T.

(2017)

Pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection favor aggressive, young males in polyandrous groups of red junglefowl,

in Evolution

71

(6)

pp. 1653-1669

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Spurgin, L. G., Bebbington, K., Fairfield, E. A., Hammers, M., Komdeur, J., Burke, T., Dugdale, H. L., Richardson, D. S.

(2017)

Spatio-temporal variation in lifelong telomere dynamics in a long-term ecological study,

in Journal of Animal Ecology

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(E-pub ahead of print)


Wright, D. J., Brouwer, L., Mannarelli, M., Burke, T., Komdeur, J., Richardson, D. S.

(2016)

Social pairing of Seychelles warblers under reduced constraints: MHC, neutral heterozygosity, and age,

in Behavioral Ecology

27

(1)

pp. 295-303

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Gilroy, D., Van Oosterhout, C., Komdeur, J., Richardson, D. S.

(2016)

Avian β-defensin variation in bottlenecked populations: the Seychelles warbler and other congeners,

in Conservation Genetics

17

(3)

pp. 661-674

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Komdeur, J., Burke, T., Dugdale, H. L., Richardson, D. S.

(2016)

Seychelles warblers: Complexities of the helping paradox,

in Cooperative Breeding in Vertebrates.

Cambridge University Press

pp. 197-217

ISBN 9781107043435

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Bebbington, K., Spurgin, L., Fairfield, E., Dugdale, H. L., Komdeur, J., Burke, T., Richardson, D. S.

(2016)

Telomere length reveals cumulative individual and transgenerational inbreeding effects in a passerine bird,

in Molecular Ecology

25

(12)

pp. 2949–2960

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Fourcade, Y., Richardson, D. S., Keišs, O., Budka, M., Green, R., Fokin, S., Secondi, J.

(2016)

Corncrake conservation genetics at a European scale: the impact of biogeographical and anthropological processes,

in Biological Conservation

198

pp. 210-219

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Hammers, M., Komdeur, J., Kingma, S., Hutchings, K., Fairfield, E., Gilroy, D., Richardson, D.

(2016)

Age-specific haemosporidian infection dynamics and survival in Seychelles warblers,

in Scientific Reports

6

article no. 29720

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Fairfield, E. A., Hutchings, K., Gilroy, D. L., Kingma, S. A., Burke, T., Komdeur, J., Richardson, D. S.

(2016)

The impact of conservation-driven translocations on blood parasite prevalence in the Seychelles warbler,

in Scientific Reports

6

article no. 29596

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Kingma, S. A., Komdeur, J., Hammers, M., Richardson, D. S.

(2016)

The cost of prospecting for dispersal opportunities in a social bird,

in Biology Letters

12

(6)

article no. 20160316

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Gonzalez-Quevedo, C., Davies, R. G., Phillips, K. P., Spurgin, L. G., Richardson, D. S.

(2016)

Landscape-scale variation in an anthropogenic factor shapes immune gene variation within a wild population,

in Molecular Ecology

25

(17)

pp. 4234–4246

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Edwards, H., Dugdale, H. L., Richardson, D., Burke, T., Komdeur, J.

(2016)

Exploration is dependent on reproductive state, not social state, in a cooperatively breeding bird,

in Behavioral Ecology

27

(6)

pp. 1889-1896

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

 

Current Research Projects

  • The evolution of cooperative breeding
  • The benefits of mate choice
  • The role of the Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in sexual selection and parasite resistance
  • The role of drift and selection in shaping genetic variation within and among bird populations on island archipelagos
  • Population genetics and conservation of endemic bird species (e.g. the Seychelles warbler, the Cape Verde warbler)
  • Telomeres as bioindicators of the costs of life history components
  • Tansgenerational impacts of ageing in wild populations
  • Mating systems and conservation genetics in marine turtles
  • Work on the Seychelles warbler is undertaken in collaboration with Nature Seychelles

 

Life in our research group

We use a powerful combination of fieldwork and molecular techniques to investigate a range of questions in evolutionary and behavioural ecology. Fieldwork focuses mainly on birds in exotic island locations which provide excellent self-contained natural laboratories in which to work. Lab work is undertaken in the extensive, well equipped molecular ecology labs at UEA. We are a dynamic, international group of students and postdocs that share interests, enthusiasm and social life! We have our own lab meetings and journal clubs to keep up with our research areas, but also engage with the seminars in BIO and beyond. Recent academic highlights have included the Annual ‘Rebellion’ student conference organised by the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation here at UEA (of which we are part), and a trip to Lisbon for the 2013 European Society for Evolutionary Biology conference.

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Postdocs & Fellows

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations. Possible funding routes include applying for fellowships, e.g. EU Marie Curie fellowships, with me acting as sponsor, or grant applications with you as a named postdoc.

Teaching Interests

All areas of molecular and evolutionary ecology, with key interests in areas of behavioural ecology, conservation genetics and populations genetics.

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • NERC, BBSRC and Leverhulme Trust grant reviewer (2004 - present)
  • Consultancy for Nature Seychelles (2001 - present)
  • Advisor to the Republic of Seychelles Government (Dept. Environment) 

Enterprise and Engagement Activities

  • Public lectures for numerous NGOs including RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology, Nature Seychelles (2001 - present)

Administrative Posts

  • Organisms and Environment Theme Leader
  • Member of the BIO Executive (UEA)
  • Biodiversity Theme Leader in ELSA (Earth & Life Sciences Alliance, Norwich Research Park)
  • UEA Ringing Group Founding member