» Laura Ferguson
BA (Hons) Biology, Additional Honours History and Philosophy of Science, St Hildas College 2003
Role or Position
Junior Research Fellow
Following my DPhil I worked as a Post-doc with Dr Chris Jiggins (University of Cambridge) for 9 months
BA Biology 3rd year Evolution and Development tutorials
The field of Evolutionary Genetics seeks to understand both the ‘why’, and the ‘how’ of the diversity of animal life. We ask whether particular features have advantage in the wild (‘why’), and which DNA mutations have occurred to generate this new feature (‘how’).
The wing patterns of Heliconius butterflies are a particularly suitable model for evolutionary genetics because they are diverse, highly adaptive, and genetic resources are available for making the link between the wild wing pattern and evolutionary mutations. Understanding novel wing patterning will help us understand how evolution operates.
I aim to to develop a major outstanding question: how predictable is evolution? The Heliconius are wing pattern mimics across the neotropics. Therefore I can use mimetic pairs to investigate whether evolution has targeted the same genes in both species, or whether two species use completely different genetic routes to achieve the same pattern. This work will contribute to emerging debates about whether the process of evolution is in some way constrained, and whether regions of the DNA which are hotspots of evolution share particular characteristics.
Laura Ferguson, Chris Jiggins.
Laura Ferguson, Siu Fai Lee, Nicola Chamberlain, Nicola Nadeau, Mathieu Joron, Simon Baxter, Paul Wilkinson, Alexie Papanicolaou, Sujai Kumar, Thuan-Jin Kee, Richard Clark, Claire Davidson, Rebecca Glithero, Helen Beasley, Heiko Vogel, Richard ffrench-Constant, Chris Jiggins.
Laura Ferguson, Jack Green, Alison Surridge, Chris Jiggins.
Laura Ferguson, Luana Majora, Chris Jiggins
Joron M, Frezal L, Jones RT, Chamberlain NL, Lee SF, Haag CR, Whibley A, Becuwe M, Baxter SW, Ferguson L, Wilkinson PA, Salazar C, Davidson C, Clark R, Quail MA, Beasley H, Glithero R, Lloyd C, Sims S, Jones MC, Rogers J, Jiggins CD, ffrench-Constant RH.
I have a son who was born in June 2010, and am therefore involved in various toddler groups and a regular visitor of the local parks! I'm also an active member of the local church, and really enjoy a good country walk when possible. I also enjoy arts and crafts, and take an interest in most aspects of design.
Created: Monday 19th September 2011