Since a young age I have been fascinated by the natural world and have spent much of my time either outside searching for animals or reading about them at home. From bird watching excursions, both local and across the world, to the latest Attenbourgh documentary and breeding beetles in my wardrobe at uni I have continually wished to know more about the variety of life.
At university I was able to pursue this passion and study biological sciences before specialising in zoology for my final year. During this time I developed specific interests in behaviour, speciation and genetics, along with experimental design and statistics which allowed me to view aspects of the natural world not just as purely interesting but also to ask how we can use science to learn more. I worked as a research technician during the summer months investigating how Drosophila melanogaster responds when infected by different infectious pathogens. My undergraduate project looked at ageing in Nircopohorus vespilliodes by manipulating larval density to study the effect early conditions have upon later life.
Continuing my education on to Master’s degree pushed my biological understanding and provided new areas of study. Here I carried out a project on sexual antagonism again in D.melanogaster, using the creation of an artificial sex-chromosome. I also attended a field course in Uganda where we designed an experiment to study dung beetle competition, the first of its kind.
My research interests are very broad within ecology and evolution including behaviour, genetics, field ecology, parasites and computational statistics. I was drawn to this project as working in the collections provided the opportunity to study birds I would never get to see otherwise while also working towards answering some key questions regarding the ecology and evolution of birds.
Outside of research, I enjoy being outdoors and looking for wildlife which has driven my desire to travel. I am also a keen runner and an avid reader with my favourites being the novels of Conrad, Dostoyevksy and Kafka.
2011-2015: BSc Biological Sciences – Zoology, University of Edinburgh
2015-2016: Msc Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, Imperial College London
Vale, P.F. and Jardine, M.D. (2015) Sex-specific behavioural symptoms of viral gut infection and Wolbachia in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Insect Physiology 82: 28-32
Vale, P.F. and Jardine, M.D. (2016) Infection avoidance behaviour: viral exposure reduces the motivation to forage in female Drosophila melanogaster Fly 10.1080/19336934.2016.1207029
Jardine, M.D., Leonard, A., Makori, B. and du Toit, J.T. (2017) A test for competition between rolling and tunneling dung beetles in an African tropical forest. Oecologia In review