The header photograph is featuring Chlamydomonas (a green alga) isolates from a semi-natural pond community after a decade of warming. The photograph to the left-hand side shows the ponds that they come from ( in January 2016).
Mechanisms of thermal adaptation
I am currently in the process of finishing two projects- one is my official post-doc project with Gabriel Yvon-Durocher at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (the 'external hard drive' Cornwall campus of Exeter University), where I am using metabolic theory and molecular approaches to find out what drives and underpins thermal adaptation in a globally important marine diatom. As I am testing our question across environments that have different amplitudes and frequencies of change, it is also a nice study in the costliness of evolving to be a generalist (i.e. being able to produce a phenotype that does equally well over a range of environments) or highly plastic (i.e. having a genotype that can produce many different phenotypes in response to changes in the environment).
My second project looks into how seasonal succession and rapid within-species evolution shape thermal responses in semi-natural pond communities. This also gives me an excuse to play in the mud once a month. Which is often the motivation behind wanting to be a scientist.
Alongside this, I collaborate with Josianne LaChapelle (University of Toronto) on how invasion across salinity borders is modulated by temperature and local adaptation.