My research is broadly aimed at understanding the factors that maintain genetic and phenotypic variation in natural populations. I study this diverse problem in different species of moths and butterflies, in the context of rapid adaptation to environmental change (industrial melanism and insecticide resistance), conservation biology (response to climate change and habitat fragmentation), and genetic load (inbreeding depression and sex-determination).
I studied ecological science (BSc) at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a PhD on the fitness consequences of small population size and inbreeding at the Universities of Leiden and London, sponsored by the Zoological Society of London. As a postdoc, first at the University of Helsinki and then Leiden, I continued to pursue this research interest in the more complex context of metapopulation dynamics. I moved to a lectureship in Liverpool in 2000 and started to work on the evolutionary genetics of industrial melanism in the peppered moth.