ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship awarded to Professor Nina Wedell

Professor Wedell will join the School of BioSciences to take up the Fellowship for her project, 'Sexual conflict and evolutionary dynamics of insecticide resistant genes'.

The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme supports up to 17 world-class researchers every year to conduct research in Australia.

Nina Wedell is currently Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Exeter. Her interests in the evolutionary ecology of sex has helped provide insights on the role of sexual conflict and selfish genes in the evolutionary process.

For the next 5 years, Professor Wedell will focus on the effects of insecticide resistance, as described in her project summary:

This project aims to develop new approaches to mitigate resistance evolution by applying sexual selection theory to predict evolution of insecticide resistance in flies. A key assumption of current agriculture management strategies is that resistance carries fecundity or survival costs, but this is rarely demonstrated, especially in nature. Not all resistance mutations are novel; many represent pre-existing variants maintained by balancing selection i.e. opposing effects in males and females, or by environmental fluctuations. This research will provide new insight into how resistance evolves and is maintained in natural populations and may result in potential reduction in pesticide use with associated economic and biodiversity benefits.

Find out more about Professor Wedell’s research by visiting her profile page on the University of Exeter website.