Chair Professor, Research Division Director
I am an evolutionary biologist with many research interests. Lot of my research has revolved around problems related to animal adaptation new and changing environmental conditions, as well as to find ways to overcome the challenges in differentiating among alternative explanations for phenotypic differentiation over spatial and temporal gradients. Factors influencing likelihood of parallel and convergent evolution, as well as genetics of ecologically important traits are topics that continue to fascinate me. One could perhaps say that studies relating to biodiversity at genetic level would broadly capture what I have been interested about and where my current research interests also reside. I am very fond of Labrador Retrievers.
I am an evolutionary biologist interested in understanding how phenotypic and genetic variation is generated, maintained or eroded through biological evolution. I am particularly interested in the effects of evolutionary mechanisms involved in the colonization of new habitats - whether contemporary (e.g. biological invasions) or historical (e.g. post-glaciation colonization) - on the levels of genetic variation in natural populations. My current research project seeks to understand the effects of effective population size (Ne) on different aspects of quantitative genetic variability in natural populations. Specifically, I aim to understand how historical dynamics of Ne have influenced additive and dominance genetic variance levels as well as mutation loads in the nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius). The repeated colonization of freshwater habitats by P. pungitius from large-sized marine populations resulted in the establishment of landlocked small populations, which provide an opportune model to study the role of selection, drift and mutation between populations with markedly different Ne.
My areas of research cover population and quantitative genetics, geometric morphometrics and experimental biology
ARTHUR FRANCIS SAND
I started my career in evolutionary genomics at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa) where I obtained my BSc and BSc Hon. degrees in Biodiversity & Ecology and an MSc in Zoology. I furthered this as a Marie Curie Fellow, completing a PhD in Animal Ecology & Systematics at Justus Liebig University (Germany) in 2020.
Under the guidance of devoted professors, I quickly grew my passion for genetics and its link to the natural world. This passion means that I am highly interested in using modern genetic principles to obtain a greater understanding of the dynamics of organisms and biological systems. I have been fortunate to work on several different groups of biota (inc. mice, ticks & molluscs) across the globe and to answer practical biological questions; assisting conservation, taxonomy and our understanding of speciation and migration (among others). However, I have always had a love affair for ornithology and birds: from the time I was able to write I have been marking off birds in various filed guides and my interest in them goes back as early as I can remember. Today my research is mainly directed at the genetic aspects of avian invasions (specifically in Hong Kong) and how they can help us better protect and manage our natural environments globally.
Postdoc or PhD student
RYMY, AKA BOOMPAW'S VELVET SCOTER
In Memoriam - 13 years of solid support for science
LILLI, AKA DARKMYS BARCHERLOTTE
Lab of the Lab - Probably the most intense lab in the world