About the Group

We are a group of evolutionary biologists working on the causes and consequences of species diversity. In terms of causes, we are interested in speciation and why some lineages diversify into more species than others. A particular focus is evolution without sex. In terms of consequences, we want to know how diversity affects the evolutionary dynamics of species living in complex ecosystems.


To answer these questions we:

  • Collect field, molecular and whole genome data for a range of animals, plants, fungi and bacteria
  • Study evolution in action in laboratory microcosms and in long time-series of biodiversity samples from the field
  • Devise statistical methods to quantify patterns and processes of diversification
  • Develop new theory and computer simulations of evolution in complex systems
  • Work on strange creatures like bdelloid rotifers to uncover deep insights
  • Apply our science to solve the challenges of managing biodiverse systems for human society.


Find out more about who we are and what we do

Publications on Google Scholar are here and at ORCID here


Recent Publications

1. Barraclough, T.G. 2019. The Evolutionary Biology of Species. Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

2. Nowell, R.W., Almeida, P., Wilson, C.G., Smith, T.P., Fontaneto, D., Crisp, A., Micklem, G., Tunnaclife, A., Boschetti, C., Barraclough, T.G. 2018. Comparative genomics of bdelloid rotifers: Insights from desiccating and nondesiccating species. PLoS Biology 16: e2004830

3. Fujisawa, T., Aswad, A. and Barraclough, T.G. 2016. A rapid and scalable method for multilocus species delimitation using Bayesian model comparison and rooted triplets. Systematic Biology. 65: 759-771.

4. Barraclough, T.G. 2015. How do species interactions affect evolutionary dynamics across whole communities? Ann. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 46:25–48

5. Fiegna, F., Moreno-Letelier, A., Bell, T., Barraclough, T.G. 2015. Evolution of species interactions determines microbial community functioning in new environments. ISME J. 9: 1235-1245

6. Fujisawa T, Barraclough TG. 2013. Delimiting Species Using Single-locus Data and the Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent (GMYC) Approach: A Revised Method and Evaluation on Simulated Datasets. Syst Biol. 62: 707-724.

7. Tang, C.Q., Leasi, F., Obertegger, U., Kieneke, A., Barraclough, T.G., and Fontaneto, D. 2012. The widely used small subunit 18S rDNA molecule greatly underestimates true diversity in biodiversity surveys of the meiofauna. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 109:16208-12.

8. Lawrence, D., Fiegna F., Behrends, V., Bundy, J.G., Phillimore, A.B., Bell, T. and Barraclough T.G. 2012. Species interactions alter evolutionary responses to a novel environment. PLoS Biology 10: e1001330.

9. Kisel, Y. and Barraclough T.G. 2010. Speciation has a spatial scale that depends on levels of gene flow. American Naturalist. 175:316-334.