I am an EASTBIO BBSRC funded PhD student investigating the effect of dietary restriction on a number of life-history traits. In particular I am exploring how macronutrient ratios and degree of restriction, affects the suggested longevity reproduction trade-off, using the three-spine stickleback. I am especially interested in the proposed sex differences which have been previously reported in this response. To tackle this question I will feed individually housed fish one of five diets, covering a range of protein to lipid ratios, at one of three provisioning levels. I will then assess the fish for a variety of traits at multiple time points throughout life. These include: growth rate, longevity, reproductive investment, neuromuscular performance, body composition, metabolic rate and activity. This will be a long running experiment, which has not previously been attempted in a wild derived vertebrate model.
Prior to undertaking my PhD, I carried out an MSc (by Research) at The University of York with Dr Michael Thom (now University of Plymouth) and Professor Calvin Dytham. This research focussed on plastic sperm competition responses in Drosophila melanogaster. Particularly I examined whether increased reproductive investment, due to a perceived high sperm competition environment, resulted in a reduction in longevity. This work required the development of novel techniques for manipulating the social environment of male Drosophila and for accurately estimating time of death.
Moatt JP, Dytham C & Thom MDF 2014 Sperm production responds to perceived sperm competition risk in male Drosophila melanogaster. Physiology & Behaviour 131: 111-114
Moatt JP, Dytham C & Thom MDF 2013 Exposure to sperm competition risk improves survival of virgin males. Biology Letters 9: 20121188