Professor Stuart West

Research Interests

I am an evolutionary biologist whose main interest is adaptation, and especially the evolution of social behaviours, such as cooperation, altruism, spite, mutualism, and how these can influence major evolutionary transitions. I use a mixture of techniques including theory, experiment and across species comparative studies.

My empirical work has utilised a range of organisms, including bacteria, protozoa, insects (especially parasitoid wasps), fish, birds and mammals. 

WATCH now: What caused life's major evolutionary transitions?

  • Compartmentalization drives the evolution of symbiotic cooperation.

  • Cooperative interactions among females and even more extraordinary sex ratios

  • Mechanisms to divide labour in social microorganisms

  • Kin discrimination, negative relatedness, and how to distinguish between selfishness and spite.

  • The cost and benefit of quorum sensing-controlled bacteriocin production in Lactobacillus plantarum.

  • The social coevolution hypothesis for the origin of enzymatic cooperation.

  • Adaptation is maintained by the parliament of genes.

  • Honest signaling and the double counting of inclusive fitness.

  • More