Professor Stuart Piertney

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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