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Mr Andy Saxon

Mr Andy Saxon

Mr Andy Saxon

Biological Sciences (PhD)

Area of research

The ecological genetics of sexual success and environmental tolerance.

Summary

A fundamental question in biology is how organisms optimise their allocation of limited resources to life history traits such as survival, growth and reproduction. Trade-offs between these quantitative traits, such as investment in mating and resistance to environmental stress, are particularly poorly understood in natural populations. This is mainly due to the fact that it is not well characterised how environmental variation influences selection between traits or fitness trade-offs that constrain the ecological tolerances of species.

I use the Australian rainforest fruitfly Drosophila birchii to investigate these trade-offs and test how they vary in different environments, specifically along altitudinal gradients. Research about the strength and variability of trade-offs may help in predicting the impact of stresses such as climate change and habitat loss on the future distributions of species and the persistence of ecological communities.

Biography

2013-Present PhD, University of Bristol

2010-2011 MSc Evolutionary & Population Biology [Distinction], University of Bath

2003-2007 BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology [1st], UWE Bristol

 

 

Keywords

  • local adaptation
  • ecological genetics
  • fitness
  • reproductive success
  • environmental tolerance

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