Sonia Mitchell

Contact details:

Room 308, Graham Kerr Building
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences
University of Glasgow
G12 8QQ



Thesis Title: 'The Measurement, Dynamics, and Interpretation of Biological Diversity'

Funding: BBSRC DTP PhD studentship

Supervisors: Dr Richard ReeveDr Louise Matthews, and Dr Christina Cobbold

Research Interests

The concept of diversity is difficult to define. Though deeply rooted in such fields as information theory, economics, and ecology, diversity may be measured in almost any system that may be apportioned categorically. Though clearly useful, there has been much terminological ambiguity and considerable disagreement surrounding even the most basic diversity-related concepts. Despite these acknowledged problems, a solution has yet to be agreed upon.

My main research interests focus on the measurement and interpretation of biological diversity (taxonomic, genetic, phylogenetic, phenotypic, and so on). I have been involved with projects involving a wide range of applications ranging from an investigation of the spatial and temporal dynamics of forest biodiversity to a comparative phenotypic, genetic, and phylogenetic study of the transmission of antimicrobial resistance across sympatric human and animal populations. 

I am a member of the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health.

I am also co-founder of the Boyd Orr student members group. A student-led, interdisciplinary and cross-departmental group, bringing together researchers and students interested in the clinical and ecological health of human and animal populations and ecosystems. The aims of this group are to foster the exchange of knowledge and experience from interdisciplinary fields among early career researchers. 

Academic History

  • 2013-present: PhD ‘The Measurement, Dynamics, and Interpretation of Biological Diversity’, Glasgow University
  • 2011-2012: MSc (with distinction) Biomedical Engineering, Strathclyde University 
    • Accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM)
    • Dissertation project: ‘Interactions between the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobe in visual working memory: An EEG study’ (Dr. Campbell Reid, Prof. Bernard Conway)
  • 2001-2006: BSc Physics and Applied Physics, Strathclyde University
    • Placement: ‘Detection and analysis of aberrations in micro-lens arrays’ (Prof. John Girkin)