PhD topic title: Evolutionary Acceleration in the Anthropocene
PhD supervisors: Dr Kanchon Dasmahapatra and Professor Chris Thomas
Biography and research
I completed my Integrated Masters degree in Biology at the University of York, where I explored drivers of insect species richness for my dissertation. The theme that underpins most of my research is how we can use our knowledge of the past to better understand biodiversity in the present day. In my previous work I have used phylogenetics to investigate broad macroevolutionary patterns in the geological past, but I am also interested in exploring diversification events that happened much more recently.
My PhD project is linked to both of these ideas as it focuses on how human interactions have influenced shifts in both diversity and distribution, particularly using Rhododendron. I am investigating the role that introgression has played in the evolutionary history of the genus and how hybridisation with related species may have facilitated the spread of invasive Rhododendron ponticum in the British Isles.