Job de Roij (PhD, 2010)

Job completed his PhD, which was supervised by Andrew MacColl, in early 2010, and left to start a postdoc in Helsinki. Read about his PhD interests below.

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, my research focuses on the potential of parasites to act as a driving force of natural selection and evolutionary change. I am particularly interested in the 'ecological theory of adaptive radiation', which posits that adaptive radiation is ultimately the outcome of divergent natural selection stemming from ecological variation. 

Although the role of interspecific interactions such as predation and competition as generators of divergence is becoming increasingly well-established, the impact of parasites on this process has received far less attention. Using a number of salt- and freshwater populations of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) on North Uist (Outer Hebrides), I hope to examine ways in which parasites influence the divergence of these populations, focusing specifically on life history traits (e.g. growth) and immune responses. The Isle of North Uist comprises a vast network of lochs, the majority of which harbour sticklebacks. These allopatric populations have diverged considerably in morphology and exhibit differences in parasite community structures, making it an ideal study system. The two parasites of key interest are the trematode Diplostomum gasterostei and the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus, both of which are known to have strong fitness consequences (selective effects) on the stickleback host.