My research group focusses on the behavioural and evolutionary ecology of social systems, using wasps and bees as model systems. We are particularly interested in the fundamental question of how helping behaviour evolves and is maintained. Current work centres on environmental and genetic components of social plasticity; intra-group conflict; and the evolution of parental care strategies. Our research involves a combination of large-scale manipulative field experiments in natural environments; modelling; and molecular work: microsatellite-based studies to estimate genetic relatedness and assign offspring to parents. Our study organisms include eusocial hover wasps (Liostenogaster, Parischnogaster: Malaysia); eusocial paper-wasps (Polistes: Spain), sweat bees (Halictinae: UK) and non-social digger wasps (UK).

Social Evolution lab pages