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PI: Kara Layton

Lecturer (Assistant Professor)

School of Biological Sciences

University of Aberdeen

Honorary Curatorial Fellow

Museums & Special Collections


University of Aberdeen

Research Associate

Collections & Research

Western Australian Museum

My research interests are broad but converge on a central theme: how and why is there so much diversity in our oceans? My research spans the fields of invertebrate biology (particularly, molluscs), systematics & phylogenomics, molecular ecology, and evolutionary & ecological genomics.

I received my B.Sc. in Marine and Freshwater Biology and M.Sc. in Integrative Biology from the University of Guelph (Canada) and my PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum. I then completed a postdoctoral fellowship through the Ocean Frontier Institute in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 

Outside of work I enjoy hiking, diving and yoga, and more recently navigating the world of motherhood.

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Ethan Ross
PhD Student
(Co-supervised by Julia Sigwart)

Investigating marine invertebrate biodiversity in Scottish seagrass ecosystems with eDNA metabarcoding

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Victoria Gillman
PhD Student
(Co-supervised by Victoria Pritchard)

Using low-coverage whole genome sequencing to characterise population structure in the endangered freshwater pearl mussel


Michelle Taylor
PhD Student
(Co-supervised by Maria Beger)

Using genetic tools to investigate cryptic invertebrate diversity in Caribbean coral rubble beds

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Lab alumni

Silvia Prieto, MSci:  How do prey preference and chemical acquisition shape dorid nudibranch phylogeny?

Brodie Thomas, MSc: An integrative approach to understanding colour variation in the European sea lemon

Corinne McElhinney, MSc: Predicting the distribution of a solar-powered sea slug

Charlotte Walker, Hons: Comparative transcriptomics for studying aposematic colour evolution in shell-less gastropods

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