All about Adaptation…

As a scientist I’ve spent my life studying adaptation … from a local environmental scale (how do ectotherms deal with cold physiologically (geckos to marine invertebrates) to wider life history patterns and genetic differences between different populations (e.g. distributed across different latitudes). From a molecular ecology and phylogenetic perspective I have investigated how these life history adaptations reflect longer term effects (focusing on marine organisms in polar environments, like Arctic amphipods and Antarctic fish). And at the deepest level of effect of organismal adaptation I have asked how do the patterns in the size and structure of the genome vary across evolutionary time scales (e.g. in ancient taxa like the Australian lungfish)?
In my creative work, evolution and adaptation has often been the focus of my poetry. My visual art also explores issues of adaptive persistence (tuatara, fish, climate). And my personal journey reflects this too – having lived my life in several different countries around the world.
Now when it comes to science communication about environmental change, much of my work focuses on climate change where “adaptation” is often expressed in terms of techno fixes and policy adjustment to accommodate economy of carbon tax or sea level rise infrastructure. But for me adaptation can equally be about frugality … lungfish and tuatara taught me that.

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