The science of nutritional ecology spans a wide range of fields, including ecology, nutrition, behaviour, morphology, physiology, life history and evolutionary biology.
The IMS lab investigates how nutrients influence the relationship between animals and their environment, from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. We are particularly interested in food limitation and its potential effect on various aspects of reproduction. Our previous work on praying mantids has shown that both food quality and food quantity have a significant effect on characteristics such as adult body size, antenna length, wing length, female fecundity, female attractiveness (visually and chemically), and male mate location/scramble competition ability.
We are also interested in the relationship between general food intake and sexual cannibalism - research has consistently shown a direct link between female food limitation and the propensity to cannibalise a mate. Our lab is eager to investigate this relationship further, and to widen the scope of study species to include sexually cannibalistic spiders (e.g. redback spiders).