Evolution, behaviour and environment


We aim to understand the role of natural selection in molecular evolution by studying a wide range of plants and animals.

Our researchers

Dr Maria Clara Castellanos

Dr Maria Clara Castellanos

Our research is focused on the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that cause and maintain the high diversity of flowering plants. Our main interest is in plant interactions with animals and with environmental factors in wild populations. We do field work in tropical, temperate and Mediterranean environments.

For more information visit the Plant Evolutionary Ecology website.

Professor Adam Eyre-Walker

Adam Eyre Walker

The principle of focus of my research is the rate, pattern and effects of mutations. We study these questions through the statistical analysis of DNA sequences and mathematical modeling, largely from an evolutionary perspective. Our interests range from the rate of adaptive evolution, to the evolution of base composition and how the mutation rate varies across the genome. I also have a growing interest in the sociology of science.

For more information please visit the Eyre-Walker website

Professor Bill Hughes

Bill Hughes

The Hughes Lab is broadly interested in behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology. Currently our main research themes include understanding cooperation and conflict in social animals and symbiotic relationships, investigating and mitigating the threats posed to pollinators by pathogens, and understanding the causes and consequences of animal 'personalities' in apex predators. We carry out much of our research on social insects, while our predator personality research is carried out on white sharks and lions.

For more information visit the Hughes Lab website

Professor Jeremy Niven

Dr Jeremy Niven

The Laboratory of Evolutionary Computational Neuroscience seeks to understand both how and why nervous systems have evolved. Through a variety of techniques and preparations, we aim to understand how neural circuits work and the selective pressures that operate on them. To do this, it is essential to relate neural function in vivo to behaviour. We use computational approaches to support our experimental work and to provide insights into neural evolution.

For more information visit the Niven Lab website.

Professor Daniel Osorio

Prof Daniel Osorio

How do animals see their worlds, recognise objects and communicate with visual signals? We study birds, butterflies and cuttlefish to investigate how they use colour and shape in their natural behaviours. We are interested in how eyes and brains should measure the colour spectrum and spatial pattern in natural images, and especially how different types of colour vision have evolved.

For more information visit the Osorio Lab Website

Dr Wiebke Schuett

Wiebke SchuettI am an evolutionary and behavioural ecologist with broad interests centred around causes and consequences of individual variation in behaviour. My group conducts both field work on wild populations and controlled experimental work on captive populations. Our empirical work mostly concentrates on birds, fish and insects.

 Major lines of our research include:

• Social and personal information use in habitat and mate-choice decisions and reproductive consequences

• Information use and decision-making in unpredictable, arid environments

• Effects of urbanization on individuals and populations

• Role of sexual selection in the evolution of consistent behavioural differences among individuals of the same species (“animal personality”)

• Life-history trade-offs as mediator of animal personality variation

• Evolution of pace-of-life syndromes