Mary Hodgson

During my undergraduate degree, I was involved in a research project in Kenya, investigating the impact of nutrient poor soil on resource allocation to herbivory defence. This is where I became interested in the importance of soil in savanna ecosystems, ultimately leading to my pursuing of a PhD in savanna soil carbon.

Savannas occupy 20% of the Earth’s land surface and are critical for the livelihoods and wellbeing of over 1 billion people. Soils underpin the delivery and sustainability of the form and function of these environments. As important reservoirs of global biodiversity and carbon, savanna soils are under increasing pressure from human activity and over-exploitation. My research focusses on improving understanding of the individual and interactive effects of grazing, fire and climate change on savanna soil biology and resilience to future disturbance. Together these drivers have the capacity to significantly alter savanna biodiversity and biogeochemical function with implications for dependent human welfare and happiness.

I’m really looking forward to being a Team Communicator for Challenge 4 – How can we mitigate climate change through soil carbon management?

Twitter:  @maryjhodgson

Claudia Martin

I am an evolutionary geneticist with a particular interest in conservation genomics and ecological adaptation of birds. My PhD has focussed on studying island endemic bird populations, under the supervision of Dr Lewis Spurgin and Prof David Richardson at the University of East Anglia. I use targeted fieldwork, molecular genomics and population genetics to understand how founder effects, gene flow and selection shape avian genetic diversity across several groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. Whole genome resequencing approaches combined with dense population sampling using RAD-seq, has allowed me to uncover evolutionary dynamics across these ecologically diverse and structured island populations. I have specialist skills in population genetics software to map and call variants and explore evolutionary questions.  

Twitter: @ClaudiaM_Eco

For more birdy information about me and my project see the links below:

Publication “Genomic variation, population history and within-archipelago adaptation between island bird populations”

Women of the Future event to explore what it means to be a researcher

Genetics Society Podcast discussing Claudia’s PhD fieldwork “Out Standing in the Field: the highs and lows of genetics fieldwork”

Blog, why catch birds? “Herding pipits: genes and traits important for ecological adaptation across islands”