Centre for Evolutionary Biology


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The Centre's members combine expertise in population, evolutionary, and molecular genetics, with phenotypic studies of selection.

We adopt a multidisciplinary approach to explore selective processes acting on the morphological and life history traits of whole organisms and their gametes. We have particular expertise in acoustic signalling, predator-prey interactions, visual ecology, sperm competition, chemical ecology, and the genetic mapping of complex traits.

Centre staff have independent yet complementary research programs addressing evolutionary questions in diverse organisms, from plants to insects, fishes, frogs, and humans. We have extensive collaborations with centres in Europe and the United States. Our research programs are supported by state-of-the-art technologies, from molecular biology to biochemistry and proteomics.

Areas of Research Strength

Human behavioural ecology
What makes a male or female attractive to members of the opposite sex, and why?
Cooperative behaviour
The act of giving up one’s own chances at reproduction in order to help raise the young of others appears a very ‘selfless’ act, and does not fit in well with the theory of natural selection.
Sperm competition
We are using within species studies and comparative analyses to determine the effects of sperm competition on male investment into reproduction.
Ecological immunology
Ecological immunology is a field of research that employs the experimental designs of evolutionary and behavioural ecology to dissect and understand patterns in disease prevalence and immune function.
Animal genitalia
We use a range of methods to reveal patterns of selection on animal genitalia and the selective processes that underlie their rapid and divergent evolution.
Sexual selection
Charles Darwin recognised that sexual selection acts both via competition among members of the same sex for access to mates, and by mating preferences.
Alternative reproductive tactics and threshold evolution
In many species a proportion of males opts out of the conventional trials of strength that are commonly associated with holding or attracting resources such as females.
Evolutionary and ecological genetics
Genetic variation can be studied in virtually all organisms, providing insights on their mating behaviour, effective population sizes and population structure.

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Centre for Evolutionary Biology

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Last updated:
Saturday, 2 April, 2016 5:29 PM