Dr Andrew MacColl
I am interested in natural selection, variation and
microevolution in natural populations. See my personal pages for more details.
does natural selection shape and maintain variation in natural
populations? Traditionally evolutionary biology has failed to make
explicit the paramount importance of ecology in directing the evolution
of organisms. Evolutionary biologists have established, or accepted,
that the process of natural selection has occurred without identifying
its ecological causes. This may be because they have been more
interested in outcome and pattern and less in mechanism and process.
my research I attempt to identify the environmental factors and species
interactions that have been most important in shaping the biodiversity
that surrounds us. In doing so I hope to reunite the dislocated
perspectives of evolutionists and ecologists.
present my research focuses on using replicated adaptive radiations of three-spined sticklebacks to try to understand the ways
in which ecology and the environment shape patterns of evolutionary diversification between populations.
A second major strand of my reserach considers how parasites shape the genotype,
phenotype and distribution of their hosts. I am particularly interested in: (i) how
variation in parasite communities can cause divergence in
immunological, life history and mate choice traits between host
populations that might lead to host speciation. (ii) The modifying
effect of parasitism on the outcome of other kinds of ecological
interactions (competition and predation). (iii) Host-parasite
interactions in biological invasions.
I am also interested in applying ecological research to conservation problems, especially in wild bird populations.
Research staffYou can find details of my students and other members of my research group on my personal website.
Isabel Santos Magalhaes is a postdoc working with me on a NERC funded project "Multivariate evolution in replicated adaptive radiations".
Daniele D'Agostino is the research technician working on "Multivariate evolution in replicated adaptive radiations".
Shaun Robertson is trying to understand the mechanistic basis of parasite resistance in stickleback.
Muayad Mahmud is studying the ecological causes of variation in virulence.
Abdul Rahman is studying the evolutionary ecology of life history strategies.
Talib Chitheer is studying ecoevolutionary dynamics in Scottish freshwater lochs.
Chris Heward, based mainly at the GWCT, is studying the conservation of Eurasian woodcock.
Becca Young is doing an MRes on parasite interactions.
Jim Whiting has recently started his PhD on the evolutionary consequences of variation in parasite resistance.
Job de Roij, PhD student, 2006-2010.
Finn Stewart, PhD student, 2006-2010.
Paulo Wilfred, PhD student, 2008-2012.
Aliya El Nagar, PhD student, 2009-2013.
Ben Coleman, MRes student, 2006-2007.
Marielle Watkins, MRes student, 2010-2011.