My background is in evolutionary ecology and I completed my PhD in 2011 at the University of Edinburgh, with a thesis on the interactions between parasite infection and ageing in wild Soay sheep living in the remote St Kilda archipelago. The main themes of my research have been (1) determining how and why individuals vary in defence against parasites; (2) studying how early-life events influence health and fitness; (3) understanding the causes and consequences of variation in ageing. I have worked on Soay sheep in Scotland, Asian elephants in Myanmar, and pre-industrial humans in Finland. While using data on genetics, parasitology and immunology from the lab, my research largely applies multivariate statistical analysis to large, complex datasets in order to discern the patterns in messy data.
At Moredun, I am seeking to apply concepts and statistical techniques from ecology to problems in livestock disease. Projects that I have embarked upon during my first year at the Institute include work on: