I am an evolutionary biologist interested in the process of adaptation to changing environmental pressures, with a particular focus on the birds of oceanic islands.
Island systems have experienced a tremendous level of change in recent history, including the introduction of novel predators and diseases. Island birds had first evolved in an environment relatively free of these threats, and they now have to respond by either escaping from them, adapting to them, or going extinct. The focus of my DPhil, funded by the Robert and Valerie Appleby Research Scholarship, will be to track the effects of the introduced predators and diseases on both extant and extinct insular birds. To achieve that, I am looking at historical records and museum skins as well as fossil and sub-fossil materials to quantify the ecological, morphological and genetic changes that have occurred since these novel threats have been introduced.
Robert and Valerie Appleby Research Scholarship
European Saven Scholarship