Trudy Mackay is a geneticist who investigates the environmental and genetic factors that influence quantitative traits. These traits include height or weight and are represented by continuous, rather than discrete, values. Her work is undertaken by studying the impact of natural variants and mutations on many behavioural, morphological, physiological and life history traits in fruit flies, which she uses as a model organism.
The broad importance of such traits gives Trudy’s work potential application in many areas — from improving the breeding of crops and livestock to the treatment of human diseases. Alongside her research, Trudy is the co-author of the widely-used textbook, Introduction to Quantitative Genetics, first published in 1960.