Adrienne Kerley

Adrienne Kerley

Profile Display Name:
Adrienne Kerley
E-mail Address:
Start Year

2016 (Cohort 3)

Research interests:

Include but are not limited to: Marine Biology, Zoology, Coral Reefs, Food Web Ecology, Rocky Shore Ecology, Climate Change, Anthropogenic impacts, Lipid Extraction and Stable Isotopes.

Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title
The evolution and variation of the vertebrate microbiome
Research Theme
Evolution and Adaptation
Primary Supervisor

China Hanson

Primary Institution
Secondary Supervisor

Christophe Eizaguirre

Secondary Institution

Microbes are ubiquitous and in many cases have co-evolved with their host organisms. The structure and function of a host’s microbiome assists in detoxification, pathogen resistance, immune system development, digestion and can alter the behaviour of hosts. Microbes are thought to be key to contributing to the success of their host when colonizing new environments. Fish are exposed to a wide variety of environmental bacteria, but those located in the intestine represent resident colonies. These are beneficial to the host as long as physiology remains at homeostasis. This can be altered along environmental changes but also colonization or speciation processes. This project consists of laboratory and field studies using three-spined sticklebacks as a model organism. Sticklebacks have colonized many different environments making it a prime model for adaptive speciation. Firstly, we will screen for bacteria diversity across environmental gradients, then manipulate environment and microbe exposure to evaluate the role of gut microbiota on individual fitness and more broadly in speciation processes. We will use high throughput sequencing to characterize bacteria fauna. The overarching goal will be to determine how stickleback have co-evolved with their gut microbiota and determine the role of the microbiota in stickleback adaptation to new ecological niches.

Policy Impact
Background Reading

Conferences and Workshops
  • BES Ecology across borders. Poster.
  • EMPSEB (May 2019). Talk
  • Dynamic Earth (September 2019). Talk
  • QMUL internal conference (January 2019). Talk
  • .

Social Links
University Departmental Website:
Personal Website:

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