Professor Stuart Piertney

Professor Stuart Piertney

Chair in Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Professor Stuart Piertney
Professor Stuart Piertney

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272864
The University of Aberdeen Rooms 410 (Office) and 222 (Lab) Zoology Building


Research Interests

Research within the Piertney-Lab focuses on the interplay between evolutionary and ecological dynamics in natural populations. From an eco-to-evo perspective, I examine how different ecological, environmental and behavioural processes drive microevolution, adaptation and speciation. Then from an evo-to-eco perspective, I link how genetic diversity affects individual fitness, population dynamics, ecosystem function and population persistence.

Studies have either a gene-centric focus, examining candidate genes of known ecological importance and adaptive significance (e.g. MHC, MC1R, IFN), or exploit next-generation 'omics technologies to gain a more holistic understanding of adaptation and genome-wide responses to environmental and ecological change.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Piezophilic adaptation in deep-ocean amphipods (NERC Discovery mode project).
  • The genomic landscape of speciation and adaptive variation in the intertidal isopod Jaera albifrons (NERC Discovery mode project).
  • Emergence, spread and persistence of maine invasive non-native species (with Marine Scotland Science, and South Atlantic Environment Research Institute).
  • Genome-wide responses to demographic perturbation in insular populations of water voles (BBSRC EastBio DTP).
  • PolyExESS - Extreme environment simulation system for experimental evolution (NERC Capital Equipment funding).
  • The ecology, evolution and epidemiology of zoonotic pathogens in fragmented multi-host populations (BBSRC EastBio DTP).
  • The epigenomic landscape of maternal effects in the soil mite Sancassania berlesei (NERC).



Teaching Responsibilities

Course coordinator:

Animal Evolution and Biodiversity (3rd Year course)

Molecular Ecological Techniques (Masters course)

Biodiversity Field Course (2nd year course)

Contributing lecturer:

Introduction to Biological Sciences (1st year course)

Ecology & Environmental Sciences (1st year course)

Mankind in the Universe (1st year liberal arts course)

Genes & Evolution (2nd Year course)

Advanced Behavioural Ecology (Final year course)





Further Info

External Responsibilities

Panel Chair (Ecology and Evolution) - NERC Peer review College.

Steering Committee Chair - NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility.

Board of Trustees - South Atlantic Enviornment Research Institute (SAERI).