We are interested in the evolution and ecology of reproduction - in particular, how conditions during the early stages of reproduction can influence fertility, health and reproductive success in adult life. We are particularly interested in how early life trajectories are influenced by parasitism and disease and study both wild and domesticated animal populations to investigate these effects.
Much of our research examines how mothers allocate resources to their young at different phases of reproduction. For example, what can alter the embryonic environment created by the mother and what impact does this have on the health of her offspring? How do environmental conditions impact on this? How do health interventions such as vaccination influence these processes? How does an individual's social behaviour affect the impact of disease? And finally, what are the consequences of different allocation patterns later in life? We are using techniques from evolutionary ecology, parasitology, genetics and immunology and our research is supported by funding from The Royal Society, Wellcome, BBSRC, NERC and The Carnegie Trust. Have a look at our project pages for further information.