Latest News

Payoff-based learning and the decline of co-operation

Max Burton & Stu West have shown that humans cooperate less over time in public goods games, because they are learning how best to play the game, and not as previously argued, as some form of 'conditional cooperation'.

REF2014 results

Biological Sciences research at the University of Oxford ranked number 1 in the UK for volume of world-leading research.

Experimental evolution of culture in wild birds

A new paper in Nature by Lucy Aplin and colleagues reports an experimental study in Wytham Woods, in which arbitrary behaviours were introduced and tracked as they spread through social networks of wild great tits. The work shows that social learning can lead to the rapid establishment of stable differences within populations, a form of avian ‘culture’, and implicates conformist learning - where individuals preferentially copy the majority, as they key to this.

2014 Tusk Award for Emerging Leaders in Conservation

Herizo Andrianandrasana (DPhil student in Zoology) has been awarded the 2014 Tusk Award for Emerging Leaders in Conservation, sponsored by Land Rover. HRH Prince William presented Herizo Andrianandrasana with the Award at a ceremony in London.

Research News

A review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Fred Piel and Sir David Weatherall provides a contemporary summary of current knowledge of the epidemiology of alpha-thalassaemia, a neglected malaria-protective disorder of haemoglobin present in an estimated 5-7% of human beings worldwide and reached remarkable frequencies close to fixation in some parts of the world.