As a graduate student I studied how parasites shape the evolution of their hosts, and hosts shape the evolution of their parasites. Understanding how these reciprocal selective forces drive evolutionary dynamics is crucial in the fight against infectious disease, and requires knowledge of the genetics of both the host organisms and parasites. I used phylogenetic, molecular, and quantitative genetic techniques to explore the impact of coevolutionary genetic change using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and a RNA virus that occurs throughout the world.

You can read my thesis here, and a pop-sci perspective of my PhD here.


  • Waldron, F.M., Bangham, Jenny., Carpenter, J.A., Magwire, M.M. & Jiggins, F.M. From QTL to SNP: A single mutation effects sex-specific transmission of the parasitic rhabdovirus sigma in Drosophila melanogasterSubmitted
  • Carpenter, J.A., Hadfield, J.D., Bangham, Jenny., and Jiggins, F.M. Specific interactions between host and parasite genotypes do not act as a constraint on the evolution of antiviral resistance in DrosophilaEvolution. 2011 | Article |PDF |
  • Carpenter, J.A., Keegan, L., Wilfert, L., O’Connell, M.A., and Jiggins, F.M. Evidence for ADAR-induced hypermutation of the Drosophila sigma virus (Rhabdoviridae). BMC Genetics. 2009Article | PDF |
  • Carpenter, J., Hutter, S., Baines, JF., Roller, J., Parsch, J. and Jiggins, F.M. The transcriptional response ofDrosophila melanogaster to infection with the sigma virus (Rhabdoviridae). PLoS ONE. 2009Article | PDF |
  • Carpenter, J.A., and Bangham, Jenny. Population Genetics Group. Genetics Society News. 55, 28. 2009 | PDF |
  • Carpenter, J.A., The evolution and genetics of Drosophila melanogaster and the sigma virus. Thesis: University of Edinburgh. 2008. | PDF |
  • Carpenter, J.A., Jiggins, F. and Little, T. Dialogue on defenses: report from the workshop on “the impact of the environment on innate immunity: at the defence frontier”, 22-27 April 2007. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 32, 307-309 2008. | Article | PDF |
  • Carpenter, J.A., Obbard, D.J. Maside, X. and Jiggins, F.M. The recent spread of a vertically transmitted virus through populations of Drosophila melanogasterMolecular Ecology 16, 3947-3954. 2007. | Article | PDF |