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 Nicole Parr

Nicole Parr

PhD Student

 The Farmhouse 


The Farmhouse, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I graduated with a BSc in Conservation Biology & Ecology in 2012 from the University of Exeter. Following on from my degree I volunteered for the University of Cambridge and University of Zurich studying the behavior and life history of the Cape Ground Squirrel in the Kalahari Desert.  In 2013 I returned to the University of Exeter where I worked as a research Technician studying co-evolution in a microbial system. I am now a PhD researcher, working in physiological Ecology. 

Broad research specialisms:

I am interested in the amazing migrations some animals are able to undertake.  My research looks into the physiology powering these migrations, especially in challenging environments.  My ultimate aim is to inform on the breadth and type of adaptations that migratory vertebrates can exhibit in response to a strong environmental forcing factor.


BSc Conservation Biology & Ecology (University of Exeter)


Research projects

Project Title: Physiological adaptations for high altitude flight

Supervisors:  Dr Lucy Hawkes, Prof Stuart Bearhop

Funding Body: University of Exeter

Project Description:
Animals migrate across astonishing distances and heights, overcoming a multitude of physical barriers. This project will be looking into the physiological adaptations which allow birds to fly at high altitudes, such as across the Himalayas where the oxygen content may be less than half what it is at sea level.

I will be looking for range of physiological adaptations (including adaptations in flight and cardiac muscle structures, metabolic rates and the oxygen transport cascade) across water fowl species.  I hope to shed some light on which birds are able to fly at high altitudes, and how they are able to do so.


Koskella, B., & Parr, N. (2015). The evolution of bacterial resistance against bacteriophages in the horse chestnut phyllosphere is general across both space and time. Phil Trans R Soc B: Biol Sci, 370(1675), 20140297. http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2014.0297



Supervision / Group

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