Dr Saad Arif

BSc., MSc., PhD.

Senior Lecturer

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Saad Arif

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • Data Carpentry
  • Interrogating Genomes

The bulk of my teaching includes modules I lead (Data Carpentry and Interrogating Genomes) that provide students training and exposure to state-of-the-art quantitative approaches (including programming and bioinformatics) and techniques in contemporary biological research and genomics. I also lead the statistics component in the first year module The Practising Scientist and teach both introductory statistics and introduction to the R programming language in various master's courses and the BBRSC DTP (Doctoral Training Programme) in Oxford. Finally, I teach Conservation Genomics in the final year undergraduate module, Advanced Genetics and Genomics.


I welcome enquiries from potentail PhD candidate in my area of expertise.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Rebecca Whitla Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics of Butterflies in the British Isles Active


My interest lies in understanding how genotypic and phenotypic variation is generated and maintained in natural populations and how genotypic variation translates into phenotypic variation. These questions span multiple disciplines of ecology, evolution, conservation and development, however my approach to these questions is embedded in evolutionary genetics and genomics.

Current projects include:

  • Exploring host-symbiont interaction between common blue (Polyommatus icarus) butterflies and their Wolbachia endosymbionts (in collaboration with Prof. Emeritus Tim Shreeve and Dr. Michael Gerth)
  • Exploring the genomic footprints of declining and expanding species of butterflies in the British Isles (in collaboration with Prof. Emeritus Tim Shreeve and currently spearheaded by PhD Student Rebecca Whitla).

I am also collaborating with Dr. Matt Bulbert on his research on the ecology and systematics of feather-legged assassin bugs.

Recent research Funding and Awards include:

  • NERC-NBAF 2021:  Using genomics to explore a potential case of Wolbachia-mediated feminization in the Polyommatus icarus butterfly  (£7,298.05 in services)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Post-doctoral Research Fellowship 2014

Centres and institutes



slide 1 of 6

Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • British Ecological Society (member)
  • Genetics Society (member)