- 2010-present: PhD Student, Institute of Zoology and University College London.
- 2009: Education Officer, Avon Gorge & Downs Project, Bristol Zoo Gardens.
- 2008-2009: MSc Wild Animal Biology, ZSL and Royal Veterinary College, London.
- 2007-2008: Scientific Liaison Officer, Sumatran Orangutan Society, Sumatra.
- 2005-2006: Project Manager, Budongo Forest Chimpanzee Conservation Project, Jane Goodall Institute, Uganda.
- 2002-2005: BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
My main areas of interest are in primatology, evolutionary studies and skeletal morphology and I designed a PhD programme which incorporated the three. Island systems have provided fundamental insights into evolutionary patterns and processes from Darwin onwards, notably through comparison of morphological character differences between insular lineages and mainland sister groups. Evolution of unique characters in island species may be driven either by founder effects associated with population bottlenecks during colonization, or by active adaptation in response to rapid environmental change associated with colonization and/or the unusual ecological environment on islands. Recent studies on insular mammals have proposed that island taxa may experience accelerated rates of morphological adaptation over even micro-evolutionary or ecological time-scales, suggesting that it may be possible to observe the evolution of quantitative characters in island populations over relatively short time periods.
Through my complementary research programmes, I shall be able to define the phylogenetic history of introduced monkey populations within the Caribbean; whether they display quantifiable morphometric differences in skeletal characters from their source population as previously suggested, and whether these differences are likely to have resulted from colonization-phase founder effects or subsequent adaptation to novel environments. This will represent one of the most detailed studies of recent evolutionary rates and processes on island systems, and the dynamics of novel character acquisition in insular lineages. More fundamentally, it will provide a deeper understanding of how populations respond to change, a subject of increasing scientific relevance in the face of escalating human-caused habitat modification and environmental change.
Behavioural & Population Ecology
E: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment
University College London
London, United Kingdom
Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
London, United Kingdom