I am an evolutionary biologist with expertise in the genomics of adaptation. My research has been predominately focused on adaptation to novel environments, whether this be stick insects to low-temperature alpine habitats in New Zealand, palm trees to different soil types on remote oceanic islands, or widely distributed grasses that have rapidly expanded their niche to successfully colonise half the world.
I study the genetics of adaptation, and how this occurs though changes in patterns of gene expression or modifications to protein coding sequences. I am interested in asking whether the mechanisms underpinning adaptation evolves convergently between closely related taxa.
More recently I have been involved with a project assembling the genome of a grass species which has adapted to its environment through lateral gene transfer. This is a process by which genes can be transferred between species without reproduction, effectively spreading up the process of adaptation.