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Scott McKenzie

Staff picture: Scott McKenzie
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
PhD Student
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Current research interests

PhD studentship Supervised by Dr Scott Johnson at The James Hutton Institute, Dr Adam Vanbergen and Professor Rosie Hails at CEH and Dr Hefin Jones at Cardiff University

The effects of elevated CO2 on the plant-mediated interaction between an above- and belowground herbivores

Interactions between above- and belowground invertebrates are relatively poorly understood compared to plant-mediated interactions between folivores. With increasing concerns about the impacts of climate change, there is an even greater need to understand the relationships between the two. It is thought that elevated CO2 will have indirect effects on insect herbivores, via changes in host plant quality. Relationships between organisms sharing a host plant may therefore change under elevated CO2 due to such changes in host plant quality. Work to date has failed to account for above- and belowground herbivore interactions and elevated CO2, so my PhD hopes to fill major gaps in our knowledge through microcosm experiments.

The focus of my PhD is to determine how elevated CO2 could alter populations of aphids (Amphorophora idaei) and vine weevils (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) feeding on a common host plant - red raspberry - and how this ultimately affects the plant itself.

Past research

Having completed a BSc Hons degree in Zoology at Cardiff University, I stayed for another year and completed an MRes in Bioscience, for which I gained a distinction. The research for my MRes thesis focussed on the theme of climate change and soil invertebrate emergence. I presented my findings at the BES Annual Meeting in 2008 and won best poster. Having completed my MRes, I worked for the Environment Agency as part of their National Fisheries Technical Team, where my role was to assist in the monitoring of salmonids on the River Dee. I then moved to Germany to work on a climate change project with Junior Professor Till Eggers, as part of the Experimental Ecology Group at Osnabruck University. This project investigated the effects of temperature variability on a plant-aphid-parasitoid multitrophic interaction. I have also volunteered for Operation Wallacea, Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Chester Zoo.


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.