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About us How to find us prof. dr. H.L. (Hannah) Dugdale

prof. dr. H.L. Dugdale

Rosalind Franklin Fellow
prof. dr. H.L. Dugdale

Post-doctoral fellows

Alex Sparks, University of Leeds (in collaboration with David Richardson)

Genomics of senescence: Individuals senesce differently, but the causes remain poorly understood. Alex is using genomic and quantitative genetic analyses to investigate the genetic basis of senescence in the Seychelles warbler, and how this is maintained in the face of natural selection. Alex is also interested in how early-life conditions and life history decisions influence senescence.

PhD students

Ellie Chesterton, University of Leeds (co-supervised by David Richardson & Simon Goodman)

Individual variation in reproductive success in the Seychelles warbler: The evolution of cooperation is a topic of great interest to behavioural ecologists. Ellie is studying the relative effect of genetic, social and environmental conditions on reproductive success in the Seychelles warbler. Specifically, Ellie is looking at how the social environment impacts fitness, how reproductive success differs between the two sexes, and how genomic basis underpinning this variation is distributed across the genome.

Tara Cox, University of Leeds (co-supervised by Terry Burke & Keith Hamer)

Causes and consequences of personality in the Seychelles warbler: Animal ‘personalities’ describe consistent differences between individuals in behavioural traits. Tara is researching whether personality traits, such as exploration and avoidance, are associated with varying life-history strategies that are seen in the Seychelles warbler. Tara is also investigating how personalities are maintained by studying the underlying genetic variance of personality traits and by partitioning their genetic variance across the genome.

Tom Brown, University of East Anglia (supervised with David Richardson & Martin Taylor)

Biomarkers of senescence in the Seychelles warbler: Why individuals of the same chronological age vary in biological age is not well understood. Biomarkers that reflect age-related declines in condition are the key to understanding this variation. Tom is testing which biomarkers of biological age best predict future survival and breeding success in the Seychelles warbler, and whether variation in these biomarkers can be explained by environmental and social factors. This knowledge will help guide interventions that could prolong healthy life.

Charlotte Bartleet-Cross, University of Sheffield (supervised with Terry Burke & Steve Paterson)

Conservation genomics of the Seychelles warbler: Inbreeding has a huge effect on the evolution and proliferation of small, isolated populations of conservation concern. Despite its importance, the genetic architecture of inbreeding and its influence on fitness is poorly understood. By analysing the genome and comparing inbreeding depression in source and translocated populations of Seychelles warblers, Charlotte will produce models to guide future conservation management plans.

Charli Davies, University of East Anglia (supervised with David Richardson & Martin Taylor)

Antagonistic effects and the maintenance of genetic variation: Genetic variation is crucial in maintaining the adaptive potential of populations. Variation is particularly important when considering immune genes, determining the ability of individuals to combat pathogens and thus influencing their survival. Charli is investigating how different mechanisms – including antagonistic effects on survival and reproduction – interact to maintain genetic variation at various immune genes within the Seychelles warbler.

Laura Najera Cortazar, University of Leeds (supervised with Simon Goodman; assessed by Mary O’Connell)

Ecological genomics and speciation boundaries in the Myotis bats: How do environmental and ecological variation influence patterns of gene flow? Laura will investigate this question by studying genomic variation of a Myotis bat complex along the 1300 km length of the Baja California Peninsular in Mexico. By analysing spatial and genomic variation within and among the Myotis species Laura will improve our understanding of their ecological differentiation and environmental adaptations.

Michela Busana, University of Groningen (supervised with Jan Komdeur and Franjo Weissing)

Population dynamics and dispersal: Individuals differ in their dispersal behaviour, from their natal territory to their breeding location. These differences are influenced by the social environment, which impacts fitness and population dynamics. Michela’s PhD combines experimental fieldwork with mathematical modelling. She is investigating how social interactions influence dispersal decisions in the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler, and the consequences this has on population dynamics.

Last modified:07 May 2020 7.56 p.m.