Griffin Lab

griffin lab group
Griffin Lab

About the Group

I am interested in the evolution of cooperative behaviour because it poses a special problem for evolutionary theory - how can selection favour a behaviour that reduces reproductive success? The question is important, not just so we can gain an insight into striking examples such as colonies of social insects or meerkat groups, but because it is fundamental to understanding life as we know it: the evolution of the genome, the eukaryotic cell and multicellular organisms. 

My current projects fall into two main categories: 

  • The application of social evolution theory to understand clinical problems of bacterial infection. 
  • The use of comparative analyses to test predictions of social evolution theory in cooperative breeding birds and mammals

For more information visit


Prof Ashleigh Griffin
David Crosse (DPhil)
John Bruce (DPhil)
Chucky Lee (DPhil)
Melanie Ghoul (Postdoc)
Daniel Unterweger (Affiliated research fellow, EMBO)

Recent Publications

Caro, S, SA West, AS Griffin (2017) Sibling conflict and dishonest signaling in birds. PNAS 113 (48), 13803-13808.
Cornwallis CK, CA Botero, DR Rubenstein, PA Downing, SA West, AS Griffin (2017) Cooperation facilitates the colonisation of harsh environments. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 0057.
Andersen, S, RL Marvig, S Molin, H Krogh Johansen, AS Griffin (2015) Long-term social dynamics drive loss of function in pathogenic bacteria. PNAS 112, 10756-10761.

Bruce JB, GA Cooper, H Chabas, SA West, AS Griffin (2017) Cheating and resistance to cheating in natural populations of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Evolution.

List of site pages