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Dr. S.C. Cotter

Image of Dr Cotter
Dr Sheena Cotter
NERC Postdoctoral Fellow / Proleptic Lecturer
in Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics

BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Liverpool, 1997;
PhD "Trade-offs in insect disease resistance",
University of Stirling, 2002.

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Contact Information
Tel:  +44 (0)28 9097 2691 (Direct line)
Fax:  +44 (0)28 9097 5877
Email:  s.cotter@qub.ac.uk
Room:  Medical Biology Centre - 5.035.
Researcher ID:  C-2312-2009

Research Interests

My research interests are in the area of physiological and genetic life-history trade-offs; particularly in understanding how organisms evolve to defend themselves against attacks from other organisms and how they trade-off the costs of those defences with life-history traits such as longevity and reproduction.  I use a combination of behavioural, physiological, quantitative and molecular genetic approaches to address these questions, using insects as model systems.  My major focus is on the costs of immunity: Which factors have shaped the evolution of immunity in insects?  Immunity to parasites and pathogens is an important life history trait.  Natural selection should favour individuals with stronger immune systems.  However, trade-offs could alter the optimal level of investment in immunity, and patterns of investment may be further influenced by the nutrients available to the insect.  More...

Teaching

Level 1 - Environmental Biology (EVB1004)

Level 2 - Applied Ecology (BBC2025)

Level 3 - Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology (BBC3044)

MSc - Animal behaviour and Welfare (BBC8031)

Students

Catherine Reavey (PhD student): The impact of disease on parental care.

Other information

Associate Editor for the Journal of Animal Ecology Associate Editor for the Ecological Parasitology and Immunology Associate Editor for the Ecological Entemology  (From August 2012) Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society  Member of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology.