Research PG


Room 422

Zoology Building

Tillydrone Avenue

University of Aberdeen


AB24 2TZ


I'm  currently an EASTBIO funded PhD researcher studying at the University of Aberdeen, under the supervision of Dr Pierre Bize (https://www.abdn.ac.uk/people/pierre.bize) and Dr Julien Martin (https://juliengamartin.github.io/). My main research interests centre around evolutionary biology, the impact of environment on life history and the integration of physiology into answering these questions. Over the course of my research I have also (somewhat accidentally!) become a rodent biologist and I have worked with multiple rodent species in the past. Currently, I work with long-term data collected on yellow-bellied marmots, from a population in Colorado, U.S under the management of Prof. Dan Bumstein (https://sites.lifesci.ucla.edu/eeb-rmbl-marmots/). 


  • 2017 - 2021: EASTBIO funded PhD student working on "Effects of early and adult environment conditions on the biology of long-lived species: testing the "predictive adaptive response" hypothesis.", University of Aberdeen.
  • 2015 - 2016: Masters in Research, or MRes (Distinction), in Advanced Biological Sciences (Evolution and Behavioural Biology), University of Liverpool.
  • 2012 - 2015: BSc in Biological Sciences (1st Class), University of Liverpool. 

Marmot Pup  Damaraland Molerat 

Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

I have research interests in:Yellow-bellied Marmot Sketches

    • Phenotypic Selection
    • Oxidative Stress
    • Reproductive Strategies
    • Climatic Variation
    • Hibernation
    • Parasitology
    • Animal Behaviour

Parallel interests include:

  • Science Communication
  • Data Handling and Data Management
  • Open Science

If you have interests in any of the subjects please feel free to contact me using the information provided on this staff page.

Current Research

PhD Research:

Marmots are fascinating, large rodent species that are found all over the world (you might have also seen guest appearances in films such as groundhog day!). My research focuses around the study of one of these species; yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventer) are hibernating rodents that live in the United States of America.

Yellow-bellied marmots are particularly interesting for answering research questions because they can liveNursing marmot mother in relatively extreme, mountainous habitats where they are subject to varying environmental conditions both within and across years. This makes observing yellow-bellied marmots an ideal way to ask questions concerning the impact of climate on both phenotype and life history strategies, questions that are increasingly more relevent given the current climate crisis that many species face. 

Every year, a team of researchers from many locations, gather at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, CO to collect data on a local population that have been monitored consistently for almost 60 yrs. In my PhD, I combine long-term data on body condition, survival, reproduction, behaviour and climate with recent data collected from blood samples to answer a series of questions about the consequences of both early- and late-life conditions for this species.

These include:

Approaching marmot

  1. Assessing the impact of climatic conditions on female reproductive strategies.
  2. Assessing the impact of climatic conditions on markers of oxidative stress.
  3. Assessing the selection pressures acting on body condition and the trade-offs associated with maintaining related phenotypic traits.
  4. Testing the existence of theoretical life history strategies that could enable adaptation to climatic variation e.g. The Predictive Adaptive Response. 

Funding and Grants

  • 2017 -21        BBSRC, EASTBIO DTP, PhD studentship.

Teaching Responsibilities

In-school teaching:

  • Demonstrating for various courses in the School of Biological Sciences

Other teaching:

I teach various classes on behalf of the Aberdeen Study Group, which is an organisation dedicated to collaboration and skill-sharing when handling scientific data. My taught classes include:

  • ggplot2 Refresher Tutorial
  • Introduction to RMarkdown
  • Using the Microsoft Teams Community 

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