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My research interests include taxonomy, evolutionary biology and conservation genetics. I am currently a PhD candidate researching the ecological and evolutionary resilience of iconic amphibian species to environmental change. My research involves utilising novel genetic techniques such as eDNA species identification, RADseq and RNAseq alongside investigations into amphibian physiology to understand the evolution of salt tolerance in amphibians and their resilience to changing environments.
September 2017 - September 2020
- Master's Student
- I am currently researching the diet of Rangifer tarandus through the use of DNA metabarcoding in the project "Reindeer diet in the Cairngorms: Can fungal barcoding diagnose lichen species?".
September 2016 - May 2017
- BSc(hons) Student
- In my honours year I looked at the intraspecific variation found within the personality and behaviour displayed by Actinia equina (the beadlet anemone) and how A. equina adapted its behaviour in the presence of environmental cues.
In the Cairngorms, a herd of up to 150 reindeer range freely across the northern corries and up on to the plateau, home to arctic tundra and snowbed habitats, and rich with specialist high montane lichens. Reindeer are known to consume lichens as part of their winter diet, however within the Cairngorm herd, little is known of their ecological impac...
My research involves utilising novel genetic techniques such as eDNA species identification, RADseq and RNAseq alongside investigations into amphibian physiology to understand the evolution of salt tolerance in amphibians and their resilience to changing environments.
This project will aim to provide an answer to two questions concerning the diet of Cairngorm reindeer: 1) can known fractions of plants and lichens be recovered from the faeces of penned and fed reindeer using metabarcoding , and, if so, 2) what species form the seasonal diets of the reindeer when free-ranging? Without this basic information, it is hard to assess the sustainability of both the free-ranging Cairngorms herd and the lichen communities that are so important for their winter survival.