Evolution of plant life histories

Geranium sylvaticum under UV

I am interested in plant life history, in particular the selective pressures that occur plant-animal interactions and the environment. In collaboration with Dr Sandra Varga we are looking at the evolutionary ecology of plant interactions in sexually dimorphic species. This inlcudes the relationships between plants, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), pollinators and herbivores. Ongoing collaborative work includes the effect of AMF on DNA methylation and the environmental drivers of plant sex ratios. Some of my onoging work is looking at factors that may affect plant life histories. These includes changes to the current and and future changes to the environment (climate change, pollution, UV-radiation).

Insect life histories

Working with vertebrate in the wild is often challenging. To compliment thi work, I have been using insects as models in the lab to test out key hypotheses. Recently, I have used the lekking lesser wax moths to examine pre- and post-copulatory trade-offs and crickets to look at biomechanical senescence. In addition, I collaborate with Prof. Montealegre-Z with his katydid hearing research and along with Dr Paul Eady looking at environmental determinants of post-copulatory sexual selection.