Professor Stuart Piertney
Professor Stuart Piertney

Professor Stuart Piertney

Chair in Molecular Ecology and Evolution


Research Overview

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.


Current Research

  • Piezophilic adaptation in deep-ocean amphipods (NERC).
  • The genomic landscape of speciation and adaptive variation in the intertidal isopod Jaera albifrons (NERC).
  • 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)
  • PolyExESS - Extreme environment simulation system for experimental evolution (NERC).
  • The ecology, evolution and epidemiology of zoonotic pathogens in fragmented multi-host populations (BBSRC).
  • The epigenomic landscape of maternal effects in the soil mite Sancassania berlesei (NERC).


Maria Kamouyiaros - Mitochondrial DNA variation in the invasive tunicate Didemnum vexillum. 

Nathan Loustalot -  Next-generation DNA approaches to biodiversity monitoring during oil and gas decommissioning.

Eleanor Stroud - Causes and consequences of microbiome variation in the fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis).

Anna Wawer -  Immunogenic status of salmonid populations in Scotland.

Amy Guest - Sub tidal ecology of the Falkland Islands – a biogeographical comparison with the Straits of Magellan and the Beagle Channel.


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  • Digging for gold nuggets: uncovering novel candidate genes for variation in gastrointestinal nematode burden in a wild bird species

    Wenzel, M. A., Piertney, S. B.
    Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 807-825
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Identification and characterisation of 17 polymorphic candidate genes for response to parasitic nematode (Trichostrongylus tenuis) infection in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica)

    Wenzel, M. A., Webster, L. M. I., Paterson, S., Piertney, S. B.
    Conservation Genetics Resources, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 23-28
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Roosting habits of Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii) during reproduction differs between adjacent river valleys

    Ngamprasertwong, T., Piertney, S. B., Mackie, I., Racey, P. A.
    Acta Chiropterologica, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 337-347
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Fine-scale population epigenetic structure in relation to gastrointestinal parasite load in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica)

    Wenzel, M. A., Piertney, S. B.
    Molecular Ecology, vol. 23, no. 17, pp. 4256-4273
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • A genetic screen of the island races of Wren Troglodytes troglodytes in the North-east Atlantic

    Shannon, T. J., McGowan, R. Y., Zonfrillo, B., Piertney, S., Collinson, J. M.
    Bird Study, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 135-142
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics: Experiments in a Model System

    Cameron, T. C., Plaistow, S., Mugabo, M., Piertney, S. B., Benton, T. G.
    Advances in Ecological Research. MoyaLarano, J., Rowntree, J., Woodward, G. (eds.). Elsevier Academic Press, pp. 171-206, 36 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Population genetic structure of the abyssal grenadier (Coryphaenoides armatus) around the mid-Atlantic ridge

    Ritchie, H., Cousins, N. J., Cregeen, S. J., Piertney, S. B.
    Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, vol. 98, no. B, pp. 431-437
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Using population genetic structure of an invasive mammal to target control efforts: an example of the American mink in Scotland

    Fraser, E. J., Macdonald, D. W., Oliver, M. K., Piertney, S., Lambin, X.
    Biological Conservation, vol. 167, pp. 35-42
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Corrigendum to Cameron et al. 2013

    Cameron, T. C., O'Sullivan, D., Reynolds, A., Piertney, S. B., Benton, T. G.
    Ecology Letters, vol. 16, no. 10, pp. 1330-1330
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The supergiant amphipod Alicella gigantea (Crustacea: Alicellidae) from hadal depths in the Kermadec Trench, SW Pacific Ocean

    Jamieson, A. J., Lacey, N. C., Loerz, A. -., Rowden, A. A., Piertney, S. B.
    Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, vol. 92, pp. 107-113
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals