Dr Rhonda R Snook

Dr Snook

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 0126

Email: r.snook@sheffield.ac.uk

Room B89, Alfred Denny Building


Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2016-2017)
Reader, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2012-present)
Senior Lecturer, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2005-2012)
Lecturer, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2001-2005)
Assistant Professor University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA (1998-2001)
NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Associate, University of Chicago, USA (1996-1998)
PhD, Patricia Harris Fellow, Arizona State University, USA (1995)
BSc, Western Michigan University, USA (1989)

Maternity Leave (2005, 2008)

Key Research Interests

image of flies

Research in my laboratory has two main foci which are becoming interlinked. First, we primarily work on how interactions between males and females influence genes, physiology, morphology and behaviour of each sex, and how the environment influences those interactions. In particular, we study how sexual and natural selection contributes to the evolution of reproduction strategies, mainly sperm form and function and how such selection can generate reproductive isolation. Second, we are taking a landscape approach to studying local adaptation to temperature stress, identifying genes that contribute to this response. Along the way, we are discovering that some of these genes are related to reproduction. Our research programmes use Drosophila as a model system, including D. melanogaster, D. pseudoobscura, D. subobscura, and D. montana. We use both lab and field populations, and employ a variety of research techniques including experimental evolution, microarray and RNAseq, and confocal microscopy.

Professional Activities

Non-North American Vice-President, Society for the Study of Evolution
External Degree Programme Examiner
Deciding Editor, BMC Evolutionary Biology
Deciding Editor and Reviewing Editor, Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Associate Editor, Evolution
NERC Peer Review College

Equality and Diversity Leadership

Athena SWAN, Chair of Action Committee (Animal and Plant Sciences)
Faculty of Science Equality and Diversity Board (member)
Gender Equality Committee, University of Sheffield (member)
Women@TUoS NETwork, Chair (2013-2014) Vice Chair (2012-2013)
Equality Seminars: Royal Entomological Society, University of Liverpool, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield


I have been Director of Undergraduate Admissions for the department, a member of the APS Teaching Committee and served as both the Level 4 and Biology with a Year Abroad tutor.

My emphasis, across all levels of teaching, is to ensure that students become part of a scientifically literate public so that they can function as informed and socially aware citizens with an ability to contribute to their communities. I use current research to inform what I teach and strive to share my passion for biology and discovery to students. My teaching philosophy develops a student's knowledge base but also expects them to exercise increasing levels of self-discovery and independence.

At Level 1, I lecture on two courses, APS119 (Animal and Plant Physiology) and APS120 (Reproduction, Development and Growth). These lectures emphasize my research interests in animals, insects in particular, and their physiology and reproduction. I also teach two practicals which focus on the use of genetics to ask evolutionary questions. I enjoy teaching small group Level 1 tutorials, because this is one place I get to emphasize those aspects of undergraduate teaching that I am interested . This includes writing and critical thinking skills. At the tutorial level, I am especially focused on how science is done and use tutorial excercises to highlight this.

At Level 2, I am module coordinator for APS220 (Evolutionary Biology). This module reflects my major research area of evolutionary biology. My approach to Level 2 tutorials is similar to Level 1, accentuating critical scientific thinking and the ability to communicate scientific ideas clearly and unambiguously.

My philosophy at Level 3 and Level 4 Projects is to embed students directly into my laboratory, allowing students to develop research projects that directly contribute to the scientific literature. For Level 3 (APS 331) and Level 4 (APS402) Dissertations, students are encouraged to think independently and explore topics that they have a desire to learn about.

Research Group

PhD Student

Martin Garlovsky
NERC ACCE: Biodiversity and the evolution of reproductive isolation

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