Professional summary

Research Interests

I am a molecular biologist currently working in the Molecular Ecology Group at CEH.

I have been involved in the development and application of molecular diagnostic tools, from genotyping and qPCR to metabarcoding and metagenomics analysis applied to a range of science areas including population genetics studies, evolutionary biology, gene quantification, genomics and commercial innovation.

Research projects in the past I have led and managed have been funded by Dstl, the Environment Agency, NERC and the Wellcome Trust.

My areas of research include:

  • Understanding the genetics of bioluminescence in fireflies and glow-worms;
  • Development of molecular tools to study the population dynamics of Leishmania vectors in South America and the hematophagous behaviour of blackflies in Africa using the concurrent molecular genotyping of pathogens, species identification and bloodmeal analysis
  • The evaluation of a molecular-based approach to river invertebrate identification using DNA barcodes for Simuliidae and the effect of habitat perturbation on RNA expression profiles in blackfly populations in UK rivers
  • The use of microsatellite genotyping to investigate the gene flow and migration of butterfly populations in Southern England.


PhD Student Supervision:

Matthew Greenwell (NERC) Modelling functional connectivity of Meadow Brown butterflies across landscaped using population and genetic data. Reading University, (2016 - present)

Claire Cailes (NERC) Phenotypic and genetic effects of Chernobyl-derived radionuclide contamination on the red-eyed damselfly Erythromma najas (Odonata, Coenagrionidae) Plymouth University (2004-2006)


Professional Appointments:

2020 See and be seen: Understanding trade-offs in bioluminescent signalling and how it is affected by artificial lighting at night  - BBSRC (£547K)

2017 The Evolution of Beetle Bioluminescence - Heisei FY2009 Special Research Fellowship to Japan (¥199K)

1999-current: Higher Scientific Officer, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford (1999-2010 at former Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology, Oxford, UK)
1995-1999: Research Assistant, Entomology Department, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK
1993-1995: Scientific Officer, Laboratory of the Government Chemist, Teddington, Middlesex, UK



B.Sc. Genetics (Hons) Queen Mary College, University of London
M.Sc. Forensic Science (Dis) King's. College, University of London
Ph.D. Insect Evolutionary Genetics, Brookes University, Oxford