Dr Ailsa McLean

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Email: ailsa.mclean@zoo.ox.ac.uk
Address: Room E3,
Department of Zoology,
The Tinbergen Building,
South Parks Road,
Oxford, OX1 3PS.

Research interests

I am particularly interested in interactions between insects and bacteria, especially in mutualistic and conditionally mutualistic symbiotic associations. I am also interested in specialisation and speciation in insects, and how presence of symbionts may affect these processes.

I completed my DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2010, studying host specialisation and the influence of secondary symbionts in pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum). I then moved to the University of Manchester to work on sexton beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides), exploring mutualistic and competitive interactions between these beetles and bacteria. I returned to Oxford in 2012, and am now using the pea aphid system to investigate the evolution of secondary symbiosis and how insect-bacterial symbioses can affect and are affected by other organisms in the ecosystem, including natural enemies and insect host plants.

Selected publications

  • McLean, A.H.C. and Godfray, H.C.J. 2015 Evidence for specificity in symbiont-conferred protection against parasitoids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282:20150977.
  • McLean, A.H.C., van Asch M., Ferrari J., Godfray H.C.J. 2011 Effects of bacterial secondary symbionts on host plant use in pea aphids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 760-766.
  • McLean, A.H.C., Ferrari, J., & Godfray, H.C.J. 2009 Effects of the maternal and pre-adult host plant on adult performance and preference in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Ecological Entomology 34: 330-338.