In 2019 I graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Biological Sciences, specialising in zoology. My final year research project was titled “An analysis of the consequences of nutrition dependent nuptial gift allocation in the two spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata)” and aimed to determine how nutritional deprivation influences a male’s ability to manipulate females via substances provided to them during copulation. Whilst nutritionally deprived males did not appear to be less able to manipulate females, my project did find a novel benefit to females consumption of the substances provided in the form of a higher percentage of eggs hatching.
Since graduating I have been working as a research assistant in the University of Oxfords zoology department, as part of the fruit fly lab, on projects studying how male and female aggressive and mating behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster is shaped by a number of factors including population sex ratio, diet composition and barometric pressure. This job, and my undergraduate project, has enabled me to develop my skills in manipulating an insect’s environment, alongside statistically analysing its associated data, which I hope to refine during this PhD.
My research interests lie in how insect biology and behaviour is shaped by their biotic and abiotic environment and, what consequences this has for inter-species interactions, eco-system services and conservation.