Dr Laurin McDowall


I joined the University of Leeds as a Research Fellow in July 2021 in the lab of Professor Elwyn Isaac, investigating the effects of seminal fluid peptides on female Drosophila melanogaster. I previously completed my PhD at Leeds, under the supervision of Dr Amanda Bretman, where I explored the effect of early life social conditions on adult fruit flies.  I then spent a couple of years as a Research Technician at the University of Dundee in the lab of Professor Daan van Aalten, where we used Drosophila as a model for Intellectual Disability.  Prior to my PhD, I completed an MSci degree at the University of Glasgow in Marine and Freshwater Biology, and spent time volunteering with Scottish Natural Heritage and the Florida Oceanographic Society.

Research interests

I am interested in phenotypic plasticity and the way that environmental conditions can impact an animal’s behaviour and physiology.  In particular, factors surrounding the social conditions experienced by an individual, including those found in early life and those associated with reproduction.  My interests lie both in the overall impacts on the individual and the mechanisms behind the changes. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Biology
  • MSci in Marine and Freshwater Biology