A scientist whose research focuses on the ecology and evolution of mammals has joined the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences.

Dr Malgorzata Pilot has joined the growing department following a three year research study at DurhamUniversity, investigating the evolutionary history of seals in the Baltic Sea.

“I really like the University and saw lots of possibilities for collaborative research,” she said.

“A huge draw is that nearby at Donna Nook there is a large colony of grey seals. It is absolutely fantastic to have these seals so accessible for observation purposes. It is very unusual to have somewhere in Europe where seals can be observed in their natural habitat at such close quarters. I think it opens up lots of possibilities for research.”

Prior to her time at Durham, Dr Pilot was based at the National Institute of Health in Washington DC and the University of California where she participated in a large project looking at canine genomics.

“I am interested in ecology and evolution of mammals,” she said. “My research focuses on reconstructing micro-evolutionary processes in mammalian populations using molecular genetic methods, and understanding the role of climate and environmental changes in shaping evolutionary history of mammalian species. My recent research projects include factors shaping population genetic structure in highly mobile mammals, based on the examples of the grey wolf and the killer whale; and kinship patterns within social groups of mammals.”

Dr Pilot took her postgraduate degrees in Mathematics and Biology at WarsawUniversity and completed her doctorate at the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Science.