- Leverhulme Research Fellow (2013-2014)
- Professor of Evolutionary Ecology, University of East Anglia (2010-)
- Reader in Biology, University of East Anglia (2004-2010)
- Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of East Anglia (2001-2004)
- Royal Society University Research Fellowship, University of Liverpool (1995-2001)
- University of Western Australia Fellow, U.W.A. Perth (1995)
- NERC Research Fellowship, University of Liverpool (1992-1995)
- Ph.D. - University of Manchester (1992)
- B.Sc. - Zoology, University of Manchester (1989)
Key Research Interests
I am an evolutionary ecologist with primary interests in reproduction, sexual selection and conflict, and especially the evolution of sperm form and function. Research uses a number of animal models (insects, fishes, mammals) in both field and laboratory studies to answer questions of the functional and adaptive significance of reproductive strategies and mechanisms. My research funding mainly comes from NERC, Leverhulme and the Royal Society.
My publications recorded to Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=jZN3u4IAAAAJ&view_op=list_works
Current Research Projects
- Sperm competition dynamics, heritability of reproductive traits, and evolution of reproductive isolation
- Fertilization dynamics and sperm function in salmon in relation to: hybridization with farm salmon, hybridization with trout, inter-population genetic variation
- Inbreeding influences on spermatozoal and other reproductive traits in insects
- Comparative tests of the evolution of sperm morphology
- Population consequences of sexual selection
- Thermal stress and male fertility
Our RESEARCH GROUP
We have an active and collegiate research rgoup currently comprising:
RAM VASUDEVA: NERC-funded postdoc
DAVID MURRAY: BBSRC-funded postdoc
CONRAD GILLETT: NERC-funded senior research technician
LAURA HEBBERECHT-LOPEZ: BBSRC-NERC-funded research technician
JO GODWIN: UEA-funded PhD student
KRIS SALES: NERC-funded PhD student
MATT DICKINSON: UEA-funded PhD student
We work closely with members of TRACEY CHAPMAN'S research group, and have ongoing collaborations on the evolutionary ecology of insect reproduction with LUKASZ MICHALCZYK (Krakow), OLIVER MARTIN (Zurich) and BRENT EMERSON (Tenerife), and on salmon reproductive biology with SIGURD EINUM (Trondheim) and SARAH YEATES (UEA).
Our projects currently focus on two research models: salmon and flour beetles. Both allow us to perform controlled experiments that explore the evolution of mechanisms that drive differential fertilization success, male:female reproductive compatibility, and the evolution of sperm form and function. The salmon work proceeds in collaboration with Sigurd Einum (http://www.bio.ntnu.no/users/sigurdei/) and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research’s fish ecology field station in Southern Norway (http://www.nina.no/archive/nina/PppBasePdf/NINAInfomateriell/2006/Sandlund_IMS_brosjyre_eng.pdf). Here, we have access to some of the best fieldwork and experimental facilities for salmon in Europe. Our current projects examine fertilization compatibility between farmed and wild salmon and trout, and the fitness of their hybrids.
See a recent example of our salmon work here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eva.12148/pdf, and an Opinion on this work here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25210-time-to-sterilise-farmed-salmon-to-save-wild-cousins.html
The Tribolium beetle work is based at UEA, and we have established a number of replicated lines that are now being tested for the evolution of reproductive isolation, the dynamics of sexual conflict, the consequences of sexual selection and inbreeding, and testing for genetic rescue via mating pattern. We are also using this model to understand reproductive responses and adaptations to heatwaves. See a recent example of our Tribolium work here: https://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6050/1739.full.pdf, and an Opinion here: http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=1067, or our recent Nature paper here: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v522/n7557/full/nature14419.html and a short feature on the Nature blog: http://www.nature.com/nature/podcast/index-2015-05-21.html.
Across the group, we employ a broad range of research techniques, from electric-fishing to assess survivorship of salmonid hybrids in the wild, to analysing SNP variation to determine how sexual selection shapes a genome in Tribolium strains. Group members are all involved in publication of their work, presentation at international conferences, and attending skills training events.
I am keen to chat about PhD opportunities, and can help with funding applications; please email me to discuss PhD opportunities and projects. Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences.
Postdocs & Fellows
Likewise, I am keen to host Postdoctoral Fellows in my group, and we have strong links with other groups across the Theme. I would be happy to assist in the preparation of relevant applications to organizations such as NERC, Royal Society, ERC, and other schemes allowing international exchange.
- Environmental Biology (ENV1A26)
- Behavioural Ecology (2B18)
- Evolutionary Biology and Conservation Genetics (3C24)
- M.Sc. in Applied Ecology and Conservation
External Activities and Indicators of Esteem
- NERC Core Panel Member (2007-2010, 2013-)
- Treasurer and Council member - Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (2012-)
- External examiner, University of Exeter - Biological sciences degree programmes (2009-2013)
- Editorial Board of Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B (2001-2009)
Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Science
Module Organiser of Behavioural Ecology (2B18)