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Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on how disease constrains the evolutionary process. This has primarily involved demographic studies of behaviour, meiosis and life history in insects. We have found that fungus-infected insects adaptively alter their thermal preferences, shift their diet, and exhibit higher meiotic recombination. These phenomena provide basic insights into evolution, health and healthy ageing. But, they are also important for insect control and managing the spread of human diseases by insects. Our current research is focused on applying what we have learned to help people, especially with respect to fertility, alternative medicine and Chagas Disease.

Research interests

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Nicholas Priest is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Drosophila melanogaster Agriculture & Biology
fruit flies Agriculture & Biology
Genetic Recombination Medicine & Life Sciences
immunity Earth & Environmental Sciences
Mothers Medicine & Life Sciences
Diptera Medicine & Life Sciences
fruit Earth & Environmental Sciences
recombination Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Projects 2009 2019

European foul brood
bee diseases
pollinating insects

Development of Genomic Genotyping Resources

Priest, N. & Dorus, S.

The Royal Society


Project: Research council

Research Output 2001 2018

Silicon Valley’s quest for immortality – and its worrying sacrifices

Horton, J. & Priest, N., 10 Dec 2018, The Conversation, 101405.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)

Cold-seeking behaviour mitigates reproductive losses from fungal infection in Drosophila

Hunt, V., Zhong, W., Mcclure, C., Mlynski, D., Duxbury, E., Charnley, A. & Priest, N., 1 Jan 2016, In : Journal of Animal Ecology. 85, 1, p. 178-186 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
reproductive behavior
fruit flies
life history
10 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)

The evolution of sex-specific dominance in response to sexually antagonistic selection

Spencer, H. G. & Priest, N. K., May 2016, In : The American Naturalist. 187, 5, p. 658-666 9 p., 10.1086/685827.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mathematical models

Recombination Is Surprisingly Constructive for Artificial Gene Regulatory Networks in the Context of Selection for Developmental Stability

Wang, Y., Lan, Y., Weinreich, D., Priest, N. & Bryson, J., Jul 2015, p. 530. 537 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Synthetic Genes
Gene Regulatory Networks
Genetic Recombination
Asexual Reproduction
Mutation Rate
62 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)

Sex-specific effects of protein and carbohydrate intake on reproduction but not lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster

Jensen, K., Mcclure, C., Priest, N. & Hunt, J., 1 Aug 2015, In : Aging Cell. 14, 4, p. 605-615 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Drosophila melanogaster


Ecological immunology of fungal infections in Drosophila

Author: Zhong, W., 16 Mar 2014

Supervisor: Priest, N. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Evolutionary Innovations and Dynamics in Wagner's Model of Genetic Regulatory Networks

Author: Wang, Y., 18 Apr 2016

Supervisor: Bryson, J. (Supervisor), Priest, N. (Supervisor) & Davenport, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Life History Implications of Sex, Diet and Pathogen Exposure in the Fruit Fly

Author: Mcclure, C., 11 Nov 2014

Supervisor: Priest, N. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


On the Multivariate Analysis of Animal Networks

Author: Mlynski, D., 22 Apr 2016

Supervisor: James, R. (Supervisor) & Priest, N. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD