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IMG_0268Dr Karen Spencer – PI

I Graduated with a degree in Zoology from the University of London and then went on to do a PhD in Ecological Physiology at the University of Stirling under the supervision of Prof. David Bryant. I then moved into bioacoustics, sexual signalling and endocrinology whilst at the University of Bristol, working with Professor Clive Catchpole, Dr Arthur Goldsmith and Dr Kate Buchanan. After that I moved to Glasgow to take up a post-doc working with Prof. Pat Monaghan and then an independent BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship, which I moved to St Andrews in 2011. I am now a Lecturer in Psychology and Neuroscience. My main research interests lie in the fields of behavioural neuroendocrindocrinology, behavioural ecology and developmental programming. My work utilises multi-disciplinary approaches to gain a greater understanding of the mechanisms that underlie complex patterns of animal behaviour, bringing together information at the molecular, physiological and whole organism level to facilitate this.


Maria pic  Dr Maria Larriva – Post-doc

I was born in the most beautiful city of Spain, in Madrid, and I am a Chemist by training. I got my B.S. in Chemistry in The Complutense University of Madrid in 2005 and my PhD in 2010 at the same University…playing with in silico proteins!!!  (last paper is attached) After that,  I moved to Pamplona to do a Master Degree in Biomedical Research in the University of Navarra and I joined  Dr. Maria Javier Ramirez’s group in the Department of pharmacology. I joined the MoB group in February 2014.

My research interests: hormones, stress and brain and misfolded proteins linked to neurodegeneration

Dr Jeroen Minderman – Leverhulme Trust Independent Research Fellow – Jeroen’s research is here

MGE_KASwordpress_pic  Michael Emmerson – PhD Student

My research interests are in the study of individual differences in life-span development. Specifically, I am interested in the formative antecedents that contribute to variation in adult psychological characteristics and physiological functioning, and the capacity for change within adulthood. During my undergraduate studies at Newcastle University I gained research experience alongside Prof. Daniel Nettle, Prof. Melissa Bateson, and Dr Tom Smulders that emphasised the utility of using comparative and bio-mechanical approaches to achieve an understanding of individual development. After graduating from Newcastle with a degree in Psychology (BSc. Hons., 1st Class) I accepted a funded position at the University of St Andrews to complete my PhD in Psychology (co-supervised by Dr Karen Spencer & Dr Gillian Brown). My thesis refines my aforementioned interests by investigating the potentially long-lasting influence of social stress during adolescence on adult anxiety-like, social, & sexual behaviour, adrenal and gonadal endocrine function, and the neural receptor distribution of hormones implicated in stress, sociality, and sexuality.

Ben 1  Ben Turnbull – PhD Student

I graduated from the University of Birmingham with an undergraduate masters (MSci) in Human Biology, specialising in behavioural, cellular, and structural biology. I joined the University of St Andrews to commence my PhD on the mechanisms of behaviour in September 2013. I am interested in animal behaviour at multiple levels of organisation including gene expression, neuroendocrinology, development, and output. I aim to determine the mechanisms underlying variation in cognitive abilities using songbirds as a model.

Blog: www.bencturnbull.wordpress.com

I blog about my experience of the undergrad-postgrad transition. I talk about what I’ve been doing as well as the ups and downs which come with the process. In doing so am trying to humanise science.

image  David Walker – PhD Student

I graduated in 2008 with an honours degree in Zoology from the University of Dundee. Up until the start of my PhD, I worked as a research technician in various laboratories at the University of Dundee during which I achieved an MSc by research. My PhD is looking at how stress induces cognitive decline during aging using an avian model, the Japanese quail. I am particularly interested in the genetic and cellular mechanisms that regulate the stress-response, how this varies across different life stages and the consequential impact this has for biological fitness.

Georgia Longmoor – PhD student joint with the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh.

Mizuki Morisaki – PhD Student

Teresa Abaurrea – Technician.


Dr Camille Duval (http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Camille_Duval/publications)

Dr Valeria Marasco (http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Valeria_Marasco)

Dr Cedric Zimmer – Post-doctoral Fellow – now at Cornell University.

Dr Neeltje Boogert – NWO Research Fellow – Now at Oxford University.



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