WHAT DO WE DO?

We are evolutionary biologists, studying how natural selection leads to organisms being adapted or 'appearing designed'. This adaptationist approach is explained in the textbook An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology.

Our main focus is the evolution of social behaviours, such as altruism, cooperation, communication, spite etc. These traits are of particular interest because they can involve conflicts between individuals, and be relatively hard to explain.

The most up to date indicator of what we are doing is provided by a full publication list, with downloadable PDF files.

In the past a large part of our research was on sex allocation (the allocation of resources to male and femal offspring) - a relatively well understood trait, which offers excellent opportunities for examining how to study adaptation, and the limits of natural selection. This work is summarised in my 2009 Sex Allocation book.

I used to construct specific web pages describing our work in different areas, but I do not keep these updated and so they tend to be years out of date, unless we stopped working in that area. Examples include pages on Sex AllocationSocial Evolution: Cooperation & Conflict, Sex & Recombination, and Evolution In Agriculture.

Our research involves combining a number of methodologies: field and laboratory experiments; comparative studies; theoretical modeling; molecular techniques. Study organisms: our recent empirical work has involved insects (especially the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis), parasitic protozoa (Plasmodium), bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa), reef fish and humans.


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