Dr Michael Thom
Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology
School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
2014 - : Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological & Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth
2008 - 2013: Teaching Fellow in Evolutionary Biology, Department of Biology, University of York
2003 - 2008: BBSRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mammalian Behaviour and Evolution Group, University of Liverpool
1995 - 1996: Environmental Consultant, Western Australia
2011: Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice, University of York
2011: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2002: PhD, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford: "The mating system and behavioural ecology of American mink (Mustela vison)"
1995: BSc (Hons), First Class, Department of Zoology, University of Western Australia
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
Society for the Study of Evolution
International Society for Behavioral Ecology
The Genetics Society
European Society for Evolutionary Biology
This work ties in to the related theme of behavioural plasticity, particularly plastic reproductive traits: how flexible is male behaviour, and when and why does the level of flexibility vary between individuals?
In connection with much of this work, I am also interested in understanding the genetic basis of key reproductive traits, particularly behavioural traits including plasticity.
Finally, I have longstanding research interest in individual recognition, and how this ability evolves and is maintained.
My research uses both empirical research on animal models, and a theoretical approach through agent-based modelling.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Reports & invited lectures
Churchill, E. R., C. Dytham, and M. D. F. Thom. 2018. Differing effects of age and starvation on reproductive performance in Drosophila melanogaster. Scientific Reports 9:2167.
Moatt, J. P., C. Dytham, and M. D. F. Thom. 2014. Sperm production responds to perceived sperm competition risk in male Drosophila melanogaster. Physiology & Behavior 131:111-114.
Moatt, J. P., C. Dytham, and M. D. F. Thom. 2013. Exposure to sperm competition risk improves survival of virgin males. Biology Letters 9:20121188.
Senior, M. J. M., K. C. Hamer, S. Bottrell, D. P. Edwards, T. M. Fayle, J. M. Lucey, P. J. Mayhew, R. Newton, K. S. H. Peh, F. H. Sheldon, C. Stewart, A. R. Styring, M. D. F. Thom, P. Woodcock, and J. K. Hill. 2013. Trait-dependent declines of species following conversion of rain forest to oil palm plantations. Biodiversity and Conservation 22:253-268.
Stockley, P., S. A. Ramm, A. L. Sherborne, M. D. F. Thom, S. Paterson, and J. L. Hurst. 2013. Baculum morphology predicts reproductive success of male house mice under sexual selection. BMC Biology 11:66.
Claydon, A. J., M. D. Thom, J. L. Hurst, and R. J. Beynon. 2012. Protein turnover: measurement of proteome dynamics by whole animal metabolic labelling with stable isotope labelled amino acids. Proteomics 12:1194-1206.
Thom, M. D. F., and C. Dytham. 2012. Female choosiness leads to the evolution of individually distinctive males. Evolution 66:3736-3742.
Vaughan, J. B. T., and M. D. F. Thom. 2012. Do female zebrafish withhold reproductive resources for future mating opportunities? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 66:891-896.
Harrington, L. A., A. L. Harrington, N. Yamaguchi, M. D. Thom, P. Ferreras, T. R. Windham, and D. W. Macdonald. 2009. The impact of native competitors on an alien invasive: temporal niche shifts to avoid interspecific aggression? Ecology 90:1207-1216.
Cheetham, S. A., M. D. Thom, R. J. Beynon, and J. L. Hurst. 2008. The effect of familiarity on mate choice. Pages 271-280 in J. L. Hurst, R. J. Beynon, S. C. Roberts, and T. D. Wyatt, editors. Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 11. Springer, New York.
Thom, M. D., P. Stockley, R. J. Beynon, and J. L. Hurst. 2008a. Scent, mate choice and genetic heterozygosity. Pages 291-301 in J. L. Hurst, R. J. Beynon, S. C. Roberts, and T. D. Wyatt, editors. Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 11. Springer, New York.
Thom, M. D., P. Stockley, F. Jury, W. E. R. Ollier, R. J. Beynon, and J. L. Hurst. 2008b. The direct assessment of genetic heterozygosity through scent in the mouse. Current Biology 18:619-623.
Cheetham, S. A., M. D. Thom, F. Jury, W. E. R. Ollier, R. J. Beynon, and J. L. Hurst. 2007. The genetic basis of individual recognition signals in the mouse. Current Biology 17:1771-1777.
Sherborne, A. L., M. D. Thom, S. Paterson, F. Jury, W. E. R. Ollier, P. Stockley, R. J. Beynon, and J. L. Hurst. 2007. The genetic basis of inbreeding avoidance in house mice. Current Biology 17:2061-2066.
Hurst, J. L., M. D. Thom, C. M. Nevison, R. E. Humphries, and R. J. Beynon. 2005a. The "scents" of ownership. Pages 199-208 in R. T. Mason, M. P. LeMaster, and D. Müller-Schwarze, editors. Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 10. Springer, New York.
Hurst, J. L., M. D. Thom, C. M. Nevison, R. E. Humphries, and R. J. Beynon. 2005b. MHC odours are not required or sufficient for recognition of individual scent owners. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences 272:715-724.
Thom, M. D., R. J. Beynon, and J. L. Hurst. 2005. The role of the major histocompatibility complex in scent communication. Pages 173-182 in R. T. Mason, M. P. LeMaster, and D. Muller-Schwarze, editors. Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 10. Springer, New York.
Thom, M. D., L. A. Harrington, and D. W. Macdonald. 2004a. Why are American mink sexually dimorphic? A role for niche separation. Oikos 105:525-535.
Thom, M. D., and J. L. Hurst. 2004. Individual recognition by scent. Annales Zoologici Fennici 41:765-787.
Thom, M. D., D. D. P. Johnson, and D. W. Macdonald. 2004b. The evolution and maintenance of delayed implantation in the Mustelidae (Mammalia: Carnivora). Evolution 58:175-183.
Thom, M. D., D. W. Macdonald, G. J. Mason, V. Pedersen, and P. J. Johnson. 2004c. Female American mink, Mustela vison, mate multiply in a free-choice environment. Animal Behaviour 67:975-984.
Macdonald, D. W., J. M. Bryce, and M. D. Thom. 2001. Introduced mammals: Do carnivores and herbivores usurp native species by different mechanisms? Pages 11-44 in H.-J. Pelz, D. P. Cowan, and C. J. Feare, editors. Advances in Vertebrate Pest Management II. Filander Verlag, Fürth.
Macdonald, D. W., and M. D. Thom. 2001. Alien carnivores: unwelcome experiments in ecological theory. Pages 93-122 in J. L. Gittleman, S. M. Funk, D. W. Macdonald, and R. K. Wayne, editors. Carnivore Conservation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Dunlop, S. A., J. D. Roberts, K. N. Armstrong, S. J. Edwards, S. J. Reynolds, M. D. Thom, and L. D. Beazley. 1997. Impaired vision for binocular tasks after unilateral optic nerve regeneration in the frog Litoria moorei. Behavioural Brain Research 84:195-201.