Dr Luke Dunning

School of Biosciences

NERC Independent Research Fellow

Luke Dunning
Profile picture of Luke Dunning
  • NERC Independent Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK (2020‒present)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield, UK (2015‒2020)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London, UK (2013‒2014)
  • PhD, University of Auckland, NZ (2014)
  • MRes in Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK (2008)
  • BSc in Ecology and Environmental Management, Cardiff University, UK (2007)
Research interests

I am an evolutionary biologist interested in understanding how organisms adapt to novel environments by combining cutting-edge genomic techniques, ecological analyses and experimental approaches. A majority of my research is currently focused on rapid adaptation in the grass family, the most economically and ecologically important group of plants.

My research has three main themes:

  1. The evolutionary consequences of lateral gene transfer in grasses.
  2. Pan-genome variation and local adaptation in grasses.
  3. The impact of extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) on grass evolution.

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Journal articles

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Journal articles



Research group

Postdoctoral Research Associates:

  • Dr Lara Pereira
  • Dr William Brightly (NSF fellow - Co-supervised)
  • Dr Emily Bailes
PhD Students:
  • Ahmed Alenazi
  • Catherine Collins
  • George Hirons-Alecrim
  • Noah Bourne
  • Abdullah Alshehri
  • Kanyanat Kasetsuntorn (Co-supervised)
  • Violette Petter (Co-supervised)

Masters Students:

  • Emily Baker (MBiolSci)