School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Siobhan Simpson





2005-2009  BSc Evolutionary biology (hons)

2009-2010  MSc Quantitative Genetics and Genome analysis

2001-2012  MSc by research entitled “Molecular genetics and infectious disease in red squirrels on Jersey”

My background is in genetics, specifically population genetics. I am particularly interested in using population genetics to establish causes of problems and thus hopefully to find solutions.

I have investigated the genetic diversity of earthworms, tested for selection acting on a gene in mosquitoes, and investigated inbreeding and phylogenetics of red squirrels. All these research projects required both laboratory work and a range of population genetics based bioinformatics.

Degree Registration:


School Research Theme:

Comparative Medicine

Research Topic:

Investigating the genetic basis of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Summary of Research:

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a highly prevalent and often fatal disease in humans, dogs and many other species. In dogs, DCM is the second most common cardiac disease. There are many genetic causes of DCM identified in humans, yet up to now there has only been one gene associated with DCM in dogs.  This project aims to identify and test possible genetic causes for canine DCM. If genetic causes can be identified then this could lead to improved welfare through targeted testing and preventative medication, combined with breeding only from those dogs which do not possess DCM alleles. Although this study is looking at pet dogs that come into vet surgeries for cardiovascular treatment, any findings have the potential to improve not only the health of these companion animals, but also to shed light on human DCM.

Research Supervisors:

Dr Catrin Rutland, Dr Nigel Mongan, Prof Malcolm Cobb

Primary Funding Source:

BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership


Simpson, S., Blampied, N., Peniche, G., Dozières, A., Blackett, T., Coleman, S., Cornish, N., & Groombridge, J.  J. (2013). Genetic structure of introduced populations: 120-year-old DNA footprint of historic introduction in an insular small mammal population. Ecology and Evolution, 3(3), 614–628. doi:10.1002/ece3.486

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415