I am pleased to welcome Lesley Lancaster, our new incoming postdoc, funded by BECC ("Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Changing Climate"). Lesley will arrive to Lund in late May or early June, and she will work with me and Bengt Hansson on the population genetics and ecology of range limit evolution, particularly using our favourite model organism: the damselfly Ischnura elegans ("Common Bluetail") as the main study object. Both Bengt and I are very excited about this project and about recruiting Lesley, who will bring with her new skills and perspectives from her previous research.
Currently, Lesley is a postdoctoral scholar at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in Santa Barbara (California, USA), where she has been since 2009. Her main focus of research has been to reconstruct historical evolutionary processes of adaptation, speciation, extinction and migration using time-calibrated molecular phylogenies of various Californian plant clades. She is also interested in historical habitat tolerances of the unique California chaparral habitat. Her postdoctoral research has resulted in some interesting papers in BMC Evolutionary Biology and Systematic Biology.
Lesley's thesis research was on a quite different topic: maternal effects, reproductive strategies and evolutionary ecology of a colour polymorphic lizard (Uta stansburiana), where she worked in the laboratory of Barry Sinervo at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Her thesis work also resulted in a number of interesting and impressive publications in American Naturalist, Ecology Letters, Evolution and PNAS.
Lesley is thus an extremely broad and well-rounded biologist and a very experienced postdoc, who has worked at quite different levels of biological organization, and moved her research focus from studies of individual behaviour and evolutionary ecology, to broader macroevolutionary and macroecological questions. It is for precisely these reasons we are excited to bring her in to Lund; she has both sufficient much in common with our already ongoing research, yet has many complementary skills that will be of interest to us and our research.