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Funded by a Forschungskredit of the University of Zurich
I am an evolutionary biologist primarily interested in contemporary evolution, quantitative genetics, and the origin and maintenance of variation in fitness. During my PhD, I studied how selection translates into genetic evolution in a wild population of snow voles (Chionomys nivalis). During my post-doc I work on the demographic importance of genetic change (evolutionary rescue) relative to other demographic drivers.
Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
My previous work used plumage coloration as a route to understanding the eco-evolutionary forces governing ornament expression. This research was based on long-term study populations of great tits (Oxford, UK) and collared flycatchers (Gotland, Sweden). All individuals in these nestbox-breeding populations are uniquely marked, allowing individuals to be monitored throughout their lives and pedigrees to be constructed that describe the relatedness structure within each population. By combining phenotypic and relatedness information, it is possible to estimate quantitative genetic parameters (e.g., heritability).
I'm now applying this approach to humans, exploring how changes in the social environment (e.g., the Industrial Revolution and the accompanying demographic transition) have impacted the evolutionary dynamics of human life-history traits. While it's frequently stated that humans are no longer evolving, numerous molecular genetic studies have shown that—at least for specific loci—evolution in contemporary human populations is occurring. In this study, we are exploring whether the considerable environmental changes human society has experienced over recent centuries have resulted in the evolution of polygenic traits closely allied to Darwinian fitness.
Unravelling the mechanisms underlying parental age-effects on offspring survival in humans
The genetics of giants: Aldabra giant tortoise population genetics
Database development and management, lab and field work
Currently PhD student at Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
Currently post-doc at the Aquatic Ecology group of the ETH Zurich.
Currently project leader at Swild - Urban Ecology and Wildlife Research, Zurich.
Currently running Ecolytics.
Currently post-doc at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard.
Currently a post-doc at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.