I joined CEES in November 2015 to work on the genomics of speciation in Passer sparrows. I am fascinated by how species evolve in the face of gene flow. My work has focused on parallel speciation due to selection and on the maintenance of reproductive isolation in secondary contact using both three-spined sticklebacks and Littorina snails. Now I’m making the change to a new taxonomic class… birds! During my time in Oslo, I will be working as part of the sparrow group to understand how gene flow and hybridisation has led to speciation.
Accidents are important in evolution and my own research interests have progressed in a (somewhat) haphazard way. I studied physical geography as an undergraduate but quickly became bored of weather systems; ecosystems were much more exciting. During my MSc I was intrigued by freshwater food webs. Then when I started my PhD on three-spined stickleback ecology, I discovered that linking this to selection and speciation was far, far more interesting. A few mitochondrial sequences later and I was hooked on population genetics. After being offered the chance to play with some stickleback genomic data as a postdoc, I’ve never looked back!