Dr Tom Houslay
Associate Research Fellow


Broadly, my research interests involve explaining individual variation in life histories: I am interested in how genetic, environmental and social factors affect allocation to competing traits. As a member of Dr Alastair Wilson’s group, my postdoctoral research focuses on the evolutionary genetics of the vertebrate stress response. Why do many animals exhibit damaging responses to chronic exposure to environmental stress? Using guppies (Poecilia reticulata) as a model system, I combine experimental manipulations with multivariate quantitative genetic methods to investigate whether constraints or conflicts enable the persistence of maladaptive responses.

My PhD research, under the supervision of Dr Luc Bussière at the University of Stirling, focused on the integration of life history theory and sexual selection. Such approaches are necessary in order to compare the relative costs and benefits of investing in energetically expensive, highly variable sexual traits. I am also interested in statistical methods and the visual display of quantitative data, and teach a workshop on statistical modeling using R.

See more details on my personal website.

Broad research specialisms:

  • Life history trade-offs
  • Sexual selection
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Phenotypic plasticity


2014 PhD Biology, University of Stirling.
2004 MSc Bioinformatics, University of Manchester.
2002 BSc (hons) Computer science, Lancaster University.

Contact details

AddressDaphne du Maurier Building
University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE

Back | Top of page | Edit Profile | Refresh page