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
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keep these updated and so they tend to be years out of date, unless we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 Allocation, Social 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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