Dr Luke Dunning

School of Biosciences

NERC Independent Research Fellow

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

All publications

Journal articles


Research group

PhD students:

  • Samuel Hibdige (Co-supervised)

Postdoctoral researcher:

Barbara Dobrin (Co-supervised)

Lara Pereira (Co-supervised)

Research theme: Evolution, Behaviour and Genomics