Dr Becky O’Connor is an evolutionary geneticist who joined Humanimal Trust in early 2019 from the School of Biosciences at the University of Kent. Becky began her scientific career with a BSc in Human Sciences at University College London. After a period working in the corporate world, Becky returned to science through studying for a Master’s degree in Reproductive Medicine followed by a PhD in Genetics at the University of Kent. On completion of her PhD, Becky continued as a postdoctoral research scientist, working primarily on genome assembly in birds and on reconstruction of ancestral genomes in the ancestor of modern birds – the dinosaurs.
To date, Becky’s research interests have been focused on understanding the role of chromosomal change in evolution and how these changes affect fertility in agricultural and zoo species. Becky also has a keen interest in conservation genetics and has contributed to these efforts through working with zoos and as part of the ‘Frozen Ark’ biobanking network. She will continue as an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Kent, maintaining an active research profile in evolutionary and conservation genetics in birds and zoo species.