Evolution and Development

The study of Evolution has a long and distinguished history in Oxford, beginning with Ray Lankester in the 1890s and thriving through the twentieth century with work on kin selection and the selfish gene by Bill Hamilton and Richard Dawkins, and development of the ‘comparative method’ by Paul Harvey and others. Current evolutionary biology research uses field and laboratory studies, experimental evolution and genome analyses on a range of organisms including viruses, bacteria, yeast, protists and animals.

Developmental Biology has a similarly long history, from J. W. Jenkinson a century ago, through research into cellular reprogramming by John Gurdon (leading to a Nobel Prize in 2012), the early transgenic work of Constantini and Lacy, and hosting of the ICRF Developmental Biology Unit in the 1990s. Current developmental biology research includes studies on evolutionary developmental biology, regeneration and the cell cycle.