Professor Tim Barraclough

Research Interests

I work on the evolutionary biology of species diversity. Why does life evolve into distinct species? What processes shape speciation, adaptive divergence and diversity patterns? How does diversity affect the evolution of species living in complex ecosystems? In order to tackle these questions, I combine theory and statistical analysis with molecular, genomic, experimental and field data across a wide range of animals, plants, fungi and bacteria. Current projects include comparative genomics to understand the bizarre asexual life-style of bdelloid rotifers – microscopic animals living in moss and freshwater – evolutionary time-series of pathogenic fungi from cryopreserved living samples, and ‘evolution and speciation in action’ in complex microbial communities.

  • Introgression across evolutionary scales suggests reticulation contributes to Amazonian tree diversity.

  • Higher temperatures worsen the effects of mutations on protein stability

  • Adaptive evolution shapes the present-day distribution of the thermal sensitivity of population growth rate.

  • Comparative genomics of Alexander Fleming’s original Penicillium isolate (IMI 15378) reveals sequence divergence of penicillin synthesis genes

  • Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in bdelloid rotifers

  • Phytoplankton thermal responses adapt in the absence of hard thermodynamic constraints.

  • A phylogenomic analysis of Nepenthes (Nepenthaceae).

  • Bacterial adaptation is constrained in complex communities.

Graduate Students