School of Biological Sciences
Goddard Building (8), Room 354.
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, QLD 4072
Position: PhD Candidate
Supervisors: Katrina McGuigan, Mark Blows and Steve Chenoweth
Mutations are the genetic “building blocks” for evolution, however there is still a lot to learn about mutations and how they interact with drift and selection to maintain quantitative genetic variation. This is what I’ve been researching, were the following are some examples of the questions I’ve been addressing: what is the distribution of fitness effects of new mutations? What is the average dominance of a new mutation? And, at the micro-environmental level, does canalization effect how selection sees new mutations? To answer these questions, I’ve maintained several populations of mutation accumulation Drosophila serrata vinegar fly lines, which is no small feat using data from fitness assays and wing phenotypes. With these data, I can then explore the multivariate trait space to answer my questions. I am no stranger to the McGuigan Lab, where my Honours project looked at sex-based trade-offs in Danio rerio body shape to improve locomotor performance. Admittedly, I prefer working with the flies.