I am interested in a variety of different aspects of ecology and evolution, mainly to do with either parasites, sex or both.
My interest in the links between parasites and mating systems has led me to some research in the ecology and evolution of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and their effect on the evolution of host mating systems.
I also have a research project in progress investigating the way that heterogeneities in host resistance can affect the transmission of conventional infectious disease.
Moving away from the parasitism angle, I have some research going on into the evolution of mating systems and especially of sexual ornamentation.
I am involved in a large project funded by DFID (the Department For International Development) to investigate the ecology and socioeconomics of a large woodland caterpillar, the mopane worm. This is an important food item in Southern Africa, and we are trying to work out ways to increase the yield and the predicatibility of the harvest.
Other recent research has investigated the relationship between the social structure of host populations and their exposure to parasites and pathogens.
Personal website: webspace.qmul.ac.uk/rknell