I study the evolutionary biology of sex and death, mainly using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism.
After a Zoology degree at Sheffield, and a stint as a postman, I took up a PhD on sexual conflict in fruit flies at University College London. I was fascinated by the idea that reproduction involves differences of interest between partners, and that these conflicts can drive rapid evolutionary change, and even help instigate the formation of new species. After a post-doc I moved to Oxford in 2008 where I’m currently a research fellow. Much of recent work focuses on what male fruit flies transfer to females at mating. In addition to sperm cells, males provide a cocktail of seminal fluid proteins which are essential for fertility, and dramatically remodel female behaviour and physiology after mating. In particular, we’re interested in how ageing and nutrition influence what males give to females and how female respond.