Professional summary

Research Interests

My research uses an integrated approach to gain a mechanistic understanding of how anthropogenic change, and mitigation strategies, impact the evolutionary ecology of insect populations and communities. I work across all levels of organisation ranging from molecular mechanisms to community level effects in managed terrestrial environments (e.g. agricultural, forestry). My current research has two main focuses: 1) Examining synergistic effects of pesticide mixtures on model terrestrial arable communities to understand ecosystem-level impacts, with Dave Spurgeon and Ben Woodcock (UKCEH), and 2) Assessing the effects of anthropogenic stressors and pesticides on butterflies in agricultural ecosystems, with Casper Breuker (Oxford Brookes University).

I co-lead Butterflies Under Pressure: Teaching resources for the KS1/2 primary school curriculum topic "Living things and their habitats" (with Casper Breuker, Oxford Brookes University)

Brief CV

2021-        : Higher Scientific Officer (full-time)

2010-2021: Higher Scientific Officer/ Local Safety Advisor, (UKCEH, Wallingford)

2007-2009: Postdoctoral researcher at Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, with Prof. Hans Van Dyck

2004-2006: Postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Manchester, with Dr. Paula Kover

2001-2004: Research assistant and PhD student at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, with Prof Allen Moore

 

 

PhD Supervision

2021 Jay Hands: Long-term effects of pesticides on environmental health - how does exposure of a female egg-laying insect to pesticides affect subsequent generations? Co-supervised with Casper Breuker (Lead PI), Andrew Jones (both, Oxford Brookes University)

2017 Elsa Field: Impacts of tree diversity and drought on forest resilience to pathogens: a theoretical and experimental synthesis. Co-supervised with Andy Hector (Lead PI, University of Oxford), Karsten Schonrogge (UKCEH), Nadia Barsoum (Forest Research).

2015 Shyamali Roy: Evaluating the impact of emergent disease on microbial and insect populations in the tree ecosystem. Co-supervised with Robert Jackson (Lead PI, University of Reading), Karsten Schonrogge (UKCEH), Richard Harrison (East Malling Research).

2015 Nora Braak: How does a butterfly embryo cope with environmental stress? Co-supervised with Casper Breuker (Lead PI), Andrew Jones (both, Oxford Brookes University)

2013 Luca Livraghi: Evo-devo of Shx genes in the Speckled Wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria. Co-supervised with Casper Breuker (Lead PI, Oxford Brookes University), Peter Holland (University of Oxford)

2011 Jean-Michel Carter: Examining the developmental genetic regulation underlying oogenesis in the Speckled Wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria. Co-supervised with Casper Breuker (Lead PI, Oxford Brookes University).

 

Qualifications

2004: PhD Manchester Metropolitan University: Intraspecific competition and life-history plasticity in the speckled wood butterfly Pararge aegeria

1998: MSc Manchester Metropolitan University: Male density affects female reproductive output in the speckled wood butterfly Pararge aegeria: possible consequences for the Madeiran speckled wood butterfly P. xiphia

Publications