Photo of Dr Stewart Plaistow

Dr Stewart Plaistow

Senior lecturer in Evolutionary Biology Evolution, Ecology & Behaviour

Research

Research Interest 1

My research focuses on the evolutionary and ecological significance of developmental plasticity and the mechanisms that underpin it. Current areas of research include:

1) The evolution of phenotypic plasticity.

2) The evolution of maturation thresholds.

3) The role of non-genetic inheritance in adapting to novel anthropogenic stress

4) Speciation processes in Mnais damselflies.

Research Group Membership

Research Grants

Evolutionary resistance: Does adaptation stabilise plant community structure and function under climate change?

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL (NERC)

August 2018 - January 2022

Limits to Adaptation

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL (NERC), UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (UKRI) (UK)

May 2016 - September 2021

Evolution on ecological timescales: a role for non-genetic inheritance in adapting to novel anthropogenic stressors?

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL (NERC)

February 2012 - August 2015

Population Dynamics and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity : Experimental Adaptive Dynamics

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL (NERC)

October 2007 - March 2009

Research Collaborations

Dr Daimark Bennett

Internal

1) Evolution on ecological timescales: a role for non-genetic inheritance in adapting to novel anthropogenic stressors? NERC standard grant, 2011-2014.

Dr Tom van Dooren

External: Ecole Normal Superier, Paris

Development of maturation rate models for measuring probabilistic maturation reaction norms.

Dr John Colbourne

External: Indiana University

Epigenetics and maternal effects

Dr Phil Watts

Internal

NERC small grant application (Sept round) the genetic architecture of phenotypic divergence in Mnais damselflies.

Dr Steve Paterson

Internal

1) Evolution on ecological timescales: a role for non-genetic inheritance in adapting to novel anthropogenic stressors? NERC standard grant, 2011-2014.
2) Epigenetic inheritance and the control of offspring development (NERC MGF grant 2009). NERC MGF grant (>£5000) to carry out some preliminary microarray work examine to what extent epigenetic inheritance can explain transgenerational plasticity. This work has also led to the establishment of an international collaboration with Dr. John Colbourne (Indiana), the head of the Daphnia Genomics consortium.

Prof. Yoshitaka Tsubaki

External: Kyoto University

I continue to collaborate with Prof. Y. Tsubaki (Kyoto) on the evolution of the genetic polymorphism in the damselfly, Mnais costalis.
I have secured a 3-month visiting position in Kyoto for 2011, on the basis of a proposal designed to test ideas surrounding developmental character release and its role in speciation processes. A related NERC small grant (in collaboration with Dr Phil Watts) has also been submitted in order to fund genome scans on the material collected next year. This work will provide preliminary data for larger grant applications involving Watts, Tsubaki, and Prof. Siva-Jothy (Sheffield).