I am a Royal Society University Research Fellow based in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, where I also hold a lectureship/tutorial fellowship at New College. My research uses a broad range of approaches to understand the evolution of social interactions, and to apply this understanding to clinical problems of infectious disease.
I am interested in the evolution of cooperative behaviour because it poses a special problem for evolutionary theory - how can selection favour a behaviour that reduces reproductive success? The question is important, not just so we can gain an insight into striking examples such as colonies of social insects or meerkat groups, but because it is fundamental to understanding life as we know it: the evolution of the genome, the eukaryotic cell and multicellular organisms.
My current projects fall into two main categories:
(1) The application of social evolution theory to understand clinical problems of bacterial infection.
(2) The use of comparative analyses to test predictions of social evolution theory in cooperative breeding birds and mammals
If you’d like to discuss potential projects for either postdoc research or D.Phil., please get in touch.
Most funding for studentships in the department now comes through doctoral training programmes. See department website for detail on how to apply.
Department of Zoology
My New College page
Royal Society Profile
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK, OX1 3PS