David Richardson

David S Richardson and an assistant

Professor David S Richardson uses molecular techniques to address questions in evolutionary, behavioural and conservation ecology. He started working on the Seychelles warbler in 1997 and has been leading the field and conservation components of this project ever since.

His research has focused on investigating three mains areas:

  1. the interacting roles of natural and sexual selection (including MHC based mate choice) in shaping genetic variation,

  2. the forces that underpin cooperative breeding,

  3. how telomere dynamics reflect biological ageing and reveal the costs and consequences of genetic and environmental factors, including life-history choices, in a natural population.

The conservation of this endemic species is also a key focus, and DSR has led the last two translocations establishing new populations on Denis island (2004) and Fregate (2011). Research following up the populations since the translocations and testing their ‘genetic health’ has been instrumental in this species’ IUCN status being downlisted to near threatened in 2016.

Sample bottles
David S Richardson holding binoculars