Dr Alexandra Sparks


I joined the University of Leeds as a Research Fellow after obtaining my PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2018. 

Research interests

I am an evolutionary biologist working with Dr Hannah Dugdale on the long-term Seychelles warbler project. My research is focused on understanding why there is so much variation in the onset and rate that individuals senesce (or deteriorate with age). I am particularly interested in using genomic data and quantitative genetic analyses to investigate the genetic basis of senescence in the Seychelles warbler, and investigate how genetic variation in ageing rates is maintained in the face of natural selection. I am also interested in how early life conditions and life history decisions influence ageing patterns in later life.





  • PhD Biological Sciences (Immunology and Infection Research/Evolutionary Biology)
  • MSc Molecular Parasitology
  • BSc Biology

Professional memberships

  • Genetics Society
  • European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Research groups and institutes

  • Ecology and Evolution