John Howieson

John Howieson
University of the West of Scotland | UWS · Centre for Environmental Research (CER)

Master of Science

About

2
Publications
75
Reads
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Introduction
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.
Additional affiliations
November 2018 - September 2019
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Position
  • Research Associate
September 2017 - September 2020
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Master's Student
Description
  • 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
University of the West of Scotland
Position
  • BSc(hons) Student
Description
  • 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.
Education
October 2020 - May 2024
University of the West of Scotland
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology
September 2017 - September 2018
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • MSc Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants
September 2013 - July 2017
University of the West of Scotland
Field of study
  • BSc(hons) Applied Bioscience and Zoology

Publications

Publications (2)
Presentation
Full-text available
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...

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
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.
Project
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.