7-spot ladybird

7-spot ladybird.

Sarah Paul
PhD researcher

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I am interested in the way that maternal effects mediate reproductive responses not only to natural environmental fluctuations but also to the myriad of anthropogenically driven environmental changes such as invasive species, pollution, pesticide use, and climate change.

I am currently investigating how reproduction, including maternal effects, in the aposematic UK native ladybird Adalia bipunctata is influenced by the invasive Harmonia axyridis and native Coccinella septempunctata ladybirds. I focus on alterations in per offspring maternal investment in chemical defence and signalling honesty, both of which influence offspring survival. The main aim of my research is to understand the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect the levels of toxins in individuals, and the costs and benefits associated with being toxic, and being exposed to toxins in the diet within an intraguild predation system.

Follow me on twitter: @nonchalantnat

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