Caroline Thomson Caroline Thomson

    I completed my undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences (Zoology) at Cambridge, and during that degree carried out two research projects. The first looked at temperature differences between different morphs of the snail species, Cepaea nemoralis and C. hortensis. The second looked at variation in the degree of genetic divergence between sister species of birds, looking particularly at what factors affect this variation, including body mass and generation time, as well as geographical factors.

    In my DPhil I am looking at the interactions between parents and offspring. Firstly, I have been looking at whether estimates of selection in natural populations show evidence for antagonistic selection between parents and offspring over the value of traits expressed in the parents. I hope to extend this by looking specifically at selection occurring in a population of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, and the effects of parental and offspring fitness on selection upon traits in both of these generations.

    The second area I have been investigating is what affects the differences in hatching rates across eggs within a brood of blue tits. Last laid eggs have previously been shown to hatch faster than earlier laid eggs, for a given amount of incubation, which mitigates the negative effects of early incubation and subsequent hatching asynchrony on those last chicks. I have been carrying out a feeding experiment in order to test whether differences in food availability to the parents causes these differences in the egg, through resource-based constraints on hatching rate.

When Where What
2012-present University of Oxford DPhil with Jarrod Hadfield
2008-2011 University of Cambridge B.A. (Hons) Natural Sciences (Zoology)