Dr Simon Evans
My current research makes use of archived church records for the Swiss canton of Glarus that were collated by Dr Erik Postma. These records describe births, weddings and deaths, allowing us to reconstruct both individual life-histories and a population pedigree. Based on this information, we can apply quantitative genetic analyses to quantify the variation in reproductive success and lifespan within a human population, examine how this can be partitioned into genetic and various environmental sources, and describe how this composition has changed over recent centuries.
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).