Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Professor Hamish Spencer

Email hamish.spencer@otago.ac.nz

Phone 64-3-479-7981

Professor Hamish Spencer (HOD)

Google Scholar Profile

Teaching

Research Interests

Public Outreach

Checklist of Recent Mollusca Recorded from the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone

Captain Robert FitzRoy: Radio New Zealand National Interview with Kathryn Ryan, Nine to Noon, 6 November 2013

Eugenics in New Zealand: Radio New Zealand National Interview with Kathryn Ryan, Nine to Noon, 12 September 2012

Mathematical Modelling of Genetics: Radio New Zealand National Interview with Kathryn Ryan, Nine to Noon, 19 June 2012

Cousin Marriage: Radio New Zealand National Interview with Kim Hill, Saturday Morning, 4 December 2010

Cousin Marriage: Radio New Zealand National Interview with Diane Paul and Alison Ballance, Our Changing World, 30 July 2009

Possible PhD, MSc and BSc(Hons) Research Projects

Please contact me if you are interested in research projects in any of these areas.

  • Population-Genetic Models for Genomically Imprinted Loci
    Genomic imprinting describes the unequal expression of paternally and maternally inherited genes in mammals.  We are interested in the population-level consequences of this form of non-Mendelian expression. 
  • Evolutionary Origin of Genomic Imprinting
    There have been several hypotheses proposed for the evolution of the unequal expression of paternally and maternally inherited genes in mammals.  We are interested in examining these hypotheses rigorously, using novel mathematical models. 
  • Phylogeography of Molluscs
    Molluscs often provide ideal models to investigate questions in phylogeography, including questions about the importance of dispersal. New Zealand (and the South Pacific in general) has a diverse terrestrial and marine molluscan fauna that has already provided such model systems. We are interested in using novel DNA data sets in phylogeographic investigations.
  • Testing the Power to Detect Neutral Polymorphisms
    Many of the statistical tests of the neutral hypothesis of evolution do not detect non-neutral systems easily.  This project involves examining the power of a number of these tests for polymorphisms constructed by mutation and selection. 
  • Frequency-Dependent Selection and Genetic Variation 
    In theory, frequency-dependent selection can maintain large numbers of alleles in a population.  We are interested in quantifying this ability and seeing if, in fact, this form of selection might be responsible for the standing variation observed in natural populations. 
  • Evolutionary Genetics of Parental Effects
    It is becoming increasingly clear that parents pass on more than just their genes to the offspring.  For example, experiments with a species of weedy cress have shown that non-genetic factors inherited from grandparents can even alter the genetic constitution of individual plants.  This project will construct mathematical models that show how various parental effects can have long-term evolutionary implications.

^ Top of Page

Current Appointments

Current Projects

Sea Mollusc

^ Top of Page

Recent and Current Postdocs and Students

Keywords:

  • population-genetic theory, genomic imprinting, phylogenetics, plasticity, molluscs

Publications

Loading publications