I am interested in the roles of genetics, the environment, and chance in speciation. For example, how does genomic architecture affect natural selection's ability to cause divergence? At what stages of speciation do pre- versus postmating isolation barriers arise? How might different isolating barriers be correlated?
My Master's research focused on spawning habitat's contribution (or lack thereof) to the maintenance of a stickleback species pair. I continue to investigate behavioural, and additionally genetic, aspects of speciation in Heliconius butterflies, as well as their interplay with mimicry and aposematism.
Google Scholar profile
2013-Present Ph.D., University of Chicago
2009-2011 M.Sc., University of British Columbia
Thesis title: Components of premating reproductive isolation in threespine stickleback
Supervisor: Dr. Dolph Schluter
2005-2009 H.B.Sc., University of Toronto
Honours thesis title: Phylogeography and population genetic structure of Sagittaria latifolia in western North America
Supervisor: Dr. Spencer Barrett
Laura Southcott and Marcus R Kronforst. 2018. Female mate choice is a reproductive isolating barrier in Heliconius butterflies. Ethology, in press.
Laura Southcott and Marcus R Kronforst. 2017. A neutral view of the evolving genomic architecture of speciation. Ecology and Evolution, 7(16):6358–6366.
Southcott, L, Nagel, L, Hatfield, T, and Schluter, D. 2013. Weak habitat isolation in a threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus spp.) species pair. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 110:466-476.
Ingram, T, Svanback, R, Kraft, N, Kratina, P, Southcott, L, and Schluter, D. 2012. Intraguild predation drives evolutionary niche shift in threespine stickleback. Evolution. 66:1819-1832.
Southcott, L and Ostevik, KL. 2011. Bromeliad population genetics reveals species cohesion against the odds. Molecular Ecology. 20:3081-3083.
Winterbottom, R and Southcott, L. 2008. Short lifespan and high mortality in the western Pacific coral reef goby Trimma nasa. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 366: 203-208.
Winterbottom, R and Southcott, L. 2007. Two new species of the genus Trimma (Percomorpha: Gobiidae) from western Thailand. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology. 13: 67-76.