Dr. Adrian Christopher Brennan, BA (Hons) Biological Sciences Oxford, D.Phil. Plant Sciences Oxford
My research background is in plant population genetics and evolution with a particular focus on plant mating systems, and the molecular and quantitative genetics of adaptation and speciation. Following degree studies in Biological Sciences at Somerville College, Oxford University, I then completed a D.Phil. (PhD) in Plant Sciences, Oxford University, where I investigated the impacts of an invasive population history on the self-incompatibility (SI) mating system of S. squalidus (Oxford ragwort) in the UK. As part of my first postdoctoral position at Bristol University, I expanded this research by investigating the evolution of the SI mating system across an incompletely reproductively isolated species boundary between two Senecio species from Mount Etna, Sicily. In my subsequent postdoctoral position at St Andrews University, I investigated the selective forces and genetic targets responsible for divergent ecological speciation in this study system. More recently, I have researched speciation, population, and quantitative genetics in Begonia (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh) and Arabidopsis (Estación Biológica de Doñana, EBD-CSIC, Seville) including dealing with new genetic technologies such as transcriptome analysis and high-throughput SNP genotyping.
Associate editor for AoB Plants: http://aobpla.oxfordjournals.org/
Associate editor for Evolutionary Ecology: http://link.springer.com/journal/10682
Associate editor for Web Ecology: http://www.web-ecology.net/
Reviewing for scientific journals: https://publons.com/author/553757/adrian-brennan#profile
Durham Schools Science Festival 2015 exhibitor: How plants find a mate.
My primary research interests and experience are in ecological and quantitative genetics of hybridization, speciation, invasiveness, and plant reproductive systems. I am currently investigating the genetic basis and evolution of mating system and other adaptive trait variation in the genus Linum (flax/linseed) using a combination of transcriptome sequencing and genotyping by sequencing. I am also involved in collaborative research studying rapid evolution in invasive Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle) and the population genetics of Vulpes vulpes (red fox) in the UK.
2014-present Ali Foroozani, PhD student
2016-present Ramona Irimia, PhD student (2nd supervisor)
2016-present Jessie Lauze, PhD student (2nd supervisor)
2016-present Ellie Desmond, MSc student
2015-2016 Courtney Neal, MBiol student (2nd supervisor)
2014-2015 David Whittle, MSc student (2nd supervisor)
The following projects are all for the next academic year starting in October 2017. The application deadlines are January 5th 2017. Please contact me via the link at the top of this page to request more details if any of these projects interest you or if you would like to discuss developing future projects with me.
- MBiol (current level 3 Durham Biosciences students only): Assessing the agronomic potential of natural genetic variation in flax
- MBiol (current level 3 Durham Biosciences students only): Functional variation in red fox genetics (2nd supervisor)
- International competitively funded PhD: The agronomic potential of natural genetic variation in wild flax
- UK competitively funded PhD: The evolution of inbreeding depression in wild flax and implications for crop development
- UK competitively funded PhD: Environmental Change and the Vegetation of the Moor House-Upper Teesdale NNR (2nd supervisor)
- UK competitively funded PhD (based at Stirling University): Ecology and function of buzz-pollination in bumblebees (2nd supervisor)
- Level 1: Molecular Biology
- Level 2: Evolution
- Level 3: Crops for the Future
- Level 1: Skills for Biosciences, Genetics
- Level 3: Fieldcourse
- Molecular Plant Sciences
- Brennan, A.C. (2017). Distyly supergenes as a model to understand the evolution of genetic architecture. American Journal of Botany 104(1): 5-7.
- Brennan, A.C., Hiscock, S.J. & Abbott, R.J. (2016). Genomic architecture of phenotypic divergence between two hybridizing plant species along an elevational gradient. AoB PLANTS 8: plw022.
- Silva, J.L., Brennan, A.C. & Mejías, J.A. (2016). Population genetics of self-incompatibility in a clade of relict cliff-dwelling plant species. AoB PLANTS 8: plw029.
- Abbott, R.J. & Brennan, A.C. (2014). Altitudinal gradients, plant hybrid zones and evolutionary novelty. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 369(1648): 20130346.
- Brennan, Adrian C, Woodward, Guy, Seehausen, Ole, Munoz-Fuentes, Violeta, Moritz, Craig, Guelmami, Anis, Abbott, Richard J & Edelaar, Pim (2014). Hybridization due to changing species distributions: adding problems or solutions to conservation of biodiversity during global change?. Evolutionary Ecology Research 16(6): 475-491.
- Brennan, A.C., Hiscock, S.J. & Abbott, R.J. (2014). Interspecific crossing and genetic mapping reveal intrinsic genomic incompatibility between two Senecio species that form a hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily. Heredity 113: 195-204.
- Brennan, A.C., Méndez-Vigo, B., Haddioui, A., Martínez-Zapater, J.M., Picó, F.X. & Alonso-Blanco, C. (2014). The genetic structure of Arabidopsis thaliana in the south-western Mediterranean range reveals a shared history between North Africa and southern Europe. BMC Plant Biology 14: 17.
- Brennan, AC, Harris, SA & Hiscock, SJ (2013). The population genetics of sporophytic self-incompatibility in three hybridizing Senecio (Asteraceae) species with contrasting population histories. Evolution 67(5): 1347-1367.
- Cruz, F, Brennan, AC, Gonzalez-Voyer, A, Muñoz-Fuentes, V, Muthukrishnan, E, Roques, S & Picó, FX (2012). Genetics and genomics in wildlife studies: Implications for ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. BioEssays 34(3): 245-246.
- Brennan, AC, Bridgett, S, Shaukat, Ali M, Harrison, N, Matthews, A, Pellicer, J, Twyford, A & Kidner, CA (2012). Genomic resources for evolutionary studies in the large, diverse, tropical genus, Begonia. Tropical Plant Biology 5(4): 261-276.
- Brennan, AC, Barker, D, Hiscock, SJ & Abbott, RJ (2012). Molecular genetic and quantitative trait differentiation associated with the recent homoploid hybrid speciation: A study of Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae). Heredity 108(2): 87-95.
- Brennan, AC, Tabah, DA, Harris, SA & Hiscock, SJ (2011). Sporophytic self-incompatibility in Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae): S allele dominance interactions and modifiers of cross-compatibility and selfing rates. Heredity 106(1): 113-123.
- Brennan, A.C. & Hiscock, S.J. (2010). Expression and inheritance of sporophytic self-incompatibility in synthetic allohexaploid Senecio cambrensis (Asteraceae). New Phytologist 186(1): 251-261.
- Abbott, RJ, Hegarty, MJ, Hiscock, SJ & Brennan, AC (2010). Homoploid hybrid speciation in action. Taxon 59: 1375-1386.
- Brennan, A.C., Bridle, J.R., Wang, A.L., Hiscock, S.J. & Abbott, R.J. (2009). Adaptation and selection in the Senecio (Asteraceae) hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily. New Phytologist 183(3): 702-717.
- Hegarty, MJ, Barker, GL, Brennan, AC, Edwards, KJ, Abbott, RJ & Hiscock, SJ (2009). Extreme changes to gene expression associated with homoploid hybrid speciation. Molecular Ecology 18(5): 877-889.
- Abbott, RJ, Brennan, AC, James, JK, Forbes, DG, Hegarty, MJ & Hiscock, SJ (2009). Recent hybrid origin and invasion in the British Isles by a self-incompatible species, Oxford ragwort (Senecio squalidus L., Asteraceae). Biological Invasions 11(5): 1145-1158.
- Hegarty, MJ, Barker, GL, Brennan, AC, Edwards, KJ, Abbott, RJ & Hiscock, SJ (2008). Changes to gene expression associated with hybrid speciation in plants: Further insights from transcriptomic studies in Senecio. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 363(1506): 3055-3069.
- Brennan, AC, Harris, SA & Hiscock, SJ (2006). The population genetics of sporophytic self-incompatibility in Senecio squalidus L. (Asteraceae): The number, frequency, and dominance interactions of S alleles across its British range. Evolution 60(2): 213-224.
- Brennan, AC, Harris, SA & Hiscock, SJ (2005). Modes and rates of selfing and associated inbreeding depression in the self-incompatible plant Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae): a successful colonizing species in the British Isles. New Phytologist 168(2): 475-486.
- Hiscock, SJ, McInnis, SM, Tabah, DA, Henderson, CA & Brennan, AC (2003). Sporophytic self-incompatibility in Senecio squalidus L (Asteraceae): the search for S. Journal of Experimental Botany 54(380): 169-174.
- Brennan, AC, Harris, SA & Hiscock, SJ (2003). The population genetics of sporophytic self-incompatibility in Senecio squalidus L. (Asteraceae) II: A spatial autocorrelation approach to determining mating behaviour in the presence of low S allele diversity. Heredity 91(5): 502-509.
- Brennan, AC, Harris, SA & Hiscock, SJ (2003). The population genetics of sporophytic self-incompatibility in Senecio squalidus L. (Asteraceae): Avoidance of mating constraints imposed by low S allele number. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 358(1434): 1047-1050.
- Brennan, AC, Harris, SA, Tabah, DA & Hiscock, SJ (2002). The population genetics of sporophytic self-incompatibility in Senecio squalidus L. (Asteraceae) I: S allele diversity in a natural population. Heredity 89: 430-438.