School of Life Sciences

Field Lab

Social Evolution Research Group


Our research focusses on the behavioural and evolutionary ecology of social systems, using wasps and bees as models. We are particularly interested in the fundamental question of how and why helping evolves and is maintained.

Our work involves a combination of large-scale manipulative field experiments in natural and laboratory environments; mathematical modelling; and molecular work such as microsatellite-based studies to estimate genetic relatedness and assign offspring to parents.

Our study organisms include eusocial hover wasps (Liostenogaster, Malaysia); eusocial paper-wasps (Polistes, Spain), socially polymorphic sweat bees (Halictus, Lasioglossum, UK) and non-social digger wasps (Ammophila, UK).

We are funded by:



Jeremy Field

Professor of Evolutionary Biology

University of Sussex
John Maynard Smith Building
Brighton, BN1 9QG

T +44 1273 877135