Luke Holman

luke holman

Dr Luke Holman

Associate Professor

Biography

I am lecturer and biological sciences researcher based at Edinburgh Napier University. My research covers a wide range of topics, including evolution, sexual selection, animal communication, ‘gene drives’ (genes that bias the mechanisms of inheritance to favour their own transmission), the representation of women in STEM careers, and ‘meta-science’ (i.e. research about the process of science itself). I combine empirical work on insects such as fruitflies and social insects (bees/ants/wasps) with theoretical models, modern genetics methods (e.g. GWAS, methylome sequencing, transcriptome sequencing), meta-analysis, and computational text mining of large datasets. Currently, I am engaged in research on a large dataset (the UK BioBank, with genome sequence data on 500,000 subjects) to better understand the evolutionary genetic basis for human disease. I am also examining the role of DNA methylation in controlling development into a queen or a worker in honeybees.

Following my BSc and PhD at the University of Sheffield, I won a Marie Curie Fellowship and moved to Copenhagen University, where I made major advances in the study of queen pheromones in the social insects, publishing a dozen papers on this topic. I then moved to Australian National University in Canberra, initially as post-doc and then later as an independent researcher funded by a 3-year Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) fellowship. My research in Canberra focused on sexual selection and diverse topics in evolutionary biology, and I published 24 papers while on the fellowship. In 2016, I was appointed to a permanent Senior Lecturer position at the University of Melbourne, where I continued to conduct evolutionary biology research and win grant funding, as well as teaching regularly on evolution and genetics. At Melbourne my research group focused on empirical research on fruit flies and honeybees, as well as computational topics.

I moved to Edinburgh Napier University in January 2021. Thus far I have primarily focused on evolutionary genomics analysis of large datasets from humans, fruit flies, and honeybees, as well as developing our teaching in the subject areas of animal behaviour, research methods, and statistics. I have lead two modules, namely Research Methods (which comprises a dissertation and also statistics and R coding), and Animal Behaviour (which comprises lectures, tutorials, coursework and an essay assignment). I also lecture in Advances in Animal Behaviour (on specialised topics in behavioural ecology), Scientific Enquiry (on statistics), and Genes & Inheritance (on population genetics), supervise 4th year Research Project students, and co-teach the Portugal field course for Terrestrial Field Biology.

I am also the Commissioning Editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, a busy role that involves commissioning special features for the journal. I am also active in the scientific society associated with this journal, the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (e.g. I chair a scheme called the Progress Meetings in Evolutionary Biology, which competitively funds research synthesis meetings).

Please see my personal webpage, www.lukeholman.org, for more information.

Research Areas

Date


65 results

Polygenic signals of sex differences in selection in humans from the UK Biobank

Journal Article
Ruzicka, F., Holman, L., & Connallon, T. (2022)
Polygenic signals of sex differences in selection in humans from the UK Biobank. PLoS Biology, 20(9), Article e3001768. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001768
Sex differences in the fitness effects of genetic variants can influence the rate of adaptation and the maintenance of genetic variation. For example, “sexually antagonistic” ...

Experimental sexual selection affects the evolution of physiological and life‐history traits

Journal Article
Garlovsky, M. D., Holman, L., Brooks, A. L., Novicic, Z. K., & Snook, R. R. (2022)
Experimental sexual selection affects the evolution of physiological and life‐history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 35(5), 742-751. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.14003
Sexual selection and sexual conflict are expected to affect all aspects of the phenotype, not only traits that are directly involved in reproduction. Here, we show coordinated...

Social immunity in the honey bee: do immune-challenged workers enter enforced or self-imposed exile?

Journal Article
Conroy, T. E., & Holman, L. (2022)
Social immunity in the honey bee: do immune-challenged workers enter enforced or self-imposed exile?. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 76(2), https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-022-03139-z
Animals living in large colonies are especially vulnerable to infectious pathogens and may therefore have evolved additional defences. Eusocial insects supplement their physio...

A comment on 'The adaptive value of gluttony: predators mediate the life history trade‐offs of satiation threshold' by Pruitt & Krauel (2010)

Journal Article
Postma, E., Gonzalez‐Voyer, A., & Holman, L. (2021)
A comment on 'The adaptive value of gluttony: predators mediate the life history trade‐offs of satiation threshold' by Pruitt & Krauel (2010). Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 34(12), 1989-1993. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13885
Inspection of the data that accompany Pruitt and Krauel's study of individual variation in satiation threshold and a comparison of these data with the Materials and Methods an...

Sexual selection can partly explain low frequencies of Segregation Distorter alleles

Journal Article
Keaney, T. A., Jones, T. M., & Holman, L. (2021)
Sexual selection can partly explain low frequencies of Segregation Distorter alleles. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288(1959), https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1190
The Segregation Distorter (SD) allele found in Drosophila melanogaster distorts Mendelian inheritance in heterozygous males by causing developmental failure of non-SD spermati...

Sexual selection affects the evolution of physiological and life history traits

Other
Snook, R. R., Brooks, A. L., Holman, L., & Garlovsky, S. D. Sexual selection affects the evolution of physiological and life history traits

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Snook, R. R., Brooks, A. L., Holman, L., & Garlovsky, S. D. Sexual selection affects the evolution of physiological and life history traits
Sexual selection and sexual conflict are expected to affect all aspects of the phenotype, not only traits that are directly involved in reproduction. Here, we show coordinated...

Male‐biased sexual selection, but not sexual dichromatism, predicts speciation in birds

Journal Article
Cally, J. G., Stuart‐Fox, D., Holman, L., Dale, J., & Medina, I. (2021)
Male‐biased sexual selection, but not sexual dichromatism, predicts speciation in birds. Evolution, 75(4), 931-944. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.14183
Sexual selection is thought to shape phylogenetic diversity by affecting speciation or extinction rates. However, the net effect of sexual selection on diversification is hard...

Resistance to natural and synthetic gene drive systems

Journal Article
Price, T. A. R., Windbichler, N., Unckless, R. L., Sutter, A., Runge, J., Ross, P. A., …Lindholm, A. K. (2020)
Resistance to natural and synthetic gene drive systems. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 33(10), 1345-1360. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13693
Scientists are rapidly developing synthetic gene drive elements intended for release into natural populations. These are intended to control or eradicate disease vectors and p...

Sibling rivalry versus mother's curse: can kin competition facilitate a response to selection on male mitochondria?

Journal Article
Keaney, T. A., Wong, H. W. S., Dowling, D. K., Jones, T. M., & Holman, L. (2020)
Sibling rivalry versus mother's curse: can kin competition facilitate a response to selection on male mitochondria?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287(1930), https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.0575
Assuming that fathers never transmit mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to their offspring, mitochondrial mutations that affect male fitness are invisible to direct selection on males,...

An X-linked meiotic drive allele has strong, recessive fitness costs in female Drosophila pseudoobscura

Journal Article
Larner, W., Price, T., Holman, L., & Wedell, N. (2019)
An X-linked meiotic drive allele has strong, recessive fitness costs in female Drosophila pseudoobscura. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1916), https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.2038
Selfish ‘meiotic drive’ alleles are transmitted to more than 50% of offspring, allowing them to rapidly invade populations even if they reduce the fitness of individuals carry...

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