Group members:

Laura Ross (Head of the group)












Isabelle Vea (Marie Curie Skłodowska postdoctoral fellow)

I am a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow since January 2017 working on the epigenetic and molecular mechanisms of B chromosome escape from paternal genome elimination in the obscure mealybug. 

I obtained her M.Sc. at the Université Pierre and Marie Curie/ Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Specializing in scale insects systematics and phylogenetics, I worked at reconciling neontology and paleontology during her Ph.D. at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Before joining Ross lab, I was a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow at Nagoya University, where I investigated juvenile hormone regulation of scale insect sexual dimorphism and metamorphosis in the Japanese mealybug. 

My research interests range from evolutionary history through the study of fossils in amber to the developmental processes of sexual dimorphism and sex determination using scale insects as a model of predilection. To know more, visit my Wordpress or Google Scholar





Andrés G. de la Filia (PhD student starting September 2014)

I will start my Darwin Trust funded PhD in autumn 2014 with Dr. Laura Ross, studying the genetic mechanisms and evolutionary origins and dynamics of paternal genome elimination in scale insects. I received my B.Sc. in Biology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) and then enrolled in the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology, from which I will graduate in August 2014. In the last couple of years I have been moving between the universities of Uppsala (Sweden), Montpellier II (France) and LMU-München (Germany), meaning that I will be more than happy to settle down in Edinburgh for a while. As a scientist, my main interests lie in genetics and evolution, most notably intragenomic conflicts and sexual reproduction. 




Stevie Bain (PhD student starting September 2014)












Christina Hodson (PhD student- started October 2016)

I am a Darwin Trust funded PhD student. I completed my Master’s degree at the University of Victoria (in British Columbia, Canada) studying the ecology and evolution of the unusual reproduction system found in booklice and my Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Simon Fraser University (also in Canada). I am interested in genomic conflict and the role it plays in the evolution of reproduction systems. For my PhD research, I am focusing on cases in which paternal chromosomes have evolved to evade elimination in species/clades with paternal genome elimination. I am investigating this in two insect systems: scale insects in the family Eriococcidae and the fungus gnat genus Sciara. When I’m not investigating the unusual genetic systems of insects, I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, and reading.

Google Scholar page



Andy Gardner (University of St. Andrews)

Benjamin Normark (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Stuart West (University of Oxford)

Nate Hardy (Auburn University)

Heath Blackmon (University of Texas, Arlington)

Doris Bachtrog (UC Berkeley)

Lyn Cook (University of Queensland)