Very broadly, we aim to understand the causes of differences in fitness between individuals and the causes of variation in the distribution of genetic variation in populations. More specific current interests include inbreeding and its consequences, the genetics of parasite resistance and whether and how we might find the loci underlying quantitative trait variation. We work primarily within the long term individual-based studies of Soay sheep on St. Kilda and red deer on Rum for which we recover pedigrees using microsatellite-based parentage inference.  A range of projects on other natural populations run within a shared molecular ecology lab.

The following is a list of topics we are currently interested in.

  • Inbreeding depression
  • Mating systems
  • Locating quantitative trait loci in natural populations
  • Parentage analysis and pedigree reconstruction
  • The evolution of parasite resistance
  • Hybridisation and introgression