I am broadly interested in the use of genetic techniques in conservation, and the preservation of genetic diversity. Conservation of genetic diversity is just as important as the conservation of species diversity, if not more so, as it preserves the evolutionary potential of a population and therefore gives greater opportunity for adaptation to future change, which is likely to be unpredictable. I wish to pursue a research career in the field of conservation and the genetic management of populations. I hope that I might contribute to the understanding of what makes management strategies effective from a genetic perspective.
I am currently undertaking a PhD in molecular ecology and conservation of Mobulid rays at Bangor University. During my undergraduate studies at the University of Sheffield, I conducted a meta-analysis exploring the implications of habitat fragmentation for the genetic diversity of animal populations. After graduating, I joined marine ecologists at the University of Sheffield as a Research Technician. In collaboration with Flanders Marine Institute, I worked on the integration of several large datasets of the biological traits of marine benthic invertebrates into the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). On completion of this project, I began studying for an MRes in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Leeds. Keen to build on my practical laboratory skills, I used genetic methods to identify nematode parasites of Galapagos tortoises and place these within the wider nematode phylogeny.
A secondary interest of mine lies in the factors influencing the evolution of bright and varied colouration, particularly in Dendrobatid frogs. During my undergraduate studies, I wrote a literature review which discussed these factors and during my Master’s degree, I investigated how predator choice and prior experience may allow for the evolution and maintenance of populations of imperfect Müllerian mimics of intermediate phenotype.
In my spare time, I enjoy exploring nature, animal husbandry, swimming and travel. I keep several species of reptile and amphibian as a hobby, and I have been fortunate enough to travel to many places around the world, including Venezuela, Canada, Kenya, Madagascar and India, both for research and leisure.