Holly Coombes

NERC PhD student

Research interests

My research interests are focused on social behaviour in mammals, particularly relating to cooperation and mate choice. The extent to which animals are able to “remember” other individuals and how long-term associations effects these social behaviours also fascinates me.

My project explores the function of rodent urinary proteins signals, particularly focusing on how they may facilitate individual and kin recognition. It aims to investigate the evolution of these signals by using two closely related species of vole, Microtus agretis and Myodes glareolus. Ultimately, I intend to test how the presence of communication proteins effects social behaviour and spatial distribution.

Education and career

  • BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences, 1st class, University of Bath (2012-2015)
  • NERC ACCE PhD studentship, Mammalian Behaviour and Evolution Group, University of Liverpool (2016-2020). Genetic Signals Underlying Individual and Kin Recognition in Mammals. Supervisors: Professors Jane Hurst, Paula Stockley, Rob Beynon

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