Department of Biology & Biochemistry

Evolution and biodiversity

Interests of the Evolution and Biodiversity group cover a broad span of issues across both the temporal and spatial scales: from the dynamics of translation through to evolutionary process on the paleontological scale, from understanding bacterial epidemics over real time to understanding broad scale ecological and conservation related processes.

Where in a genome does selection act and why? How much should each parent contribute to raising offspring? Does the fossil record document driven trends for increasing complexity? Do vaccination programs select for pathogens that escape the vaccine response? These are just some of the questions addressed by members of the evolution and biodiversity group.

Methodologically, the group increasingly exploits Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data, be it to analyse epidemic structures of bacterial populations, understand the evolution of splicing or determine the genetic correlates to complex traits. The group has particular expertize in analysis of large data sets.

Research areasA juvenile Great bustard released as part of a trial reintroduction in the UK'

  • Evolutionary and epidemiological genomics (EF, LDH, AP, AOU)
  • Paleontological approaches to fundamental evolutionary questions (DJF, MW, NL)
  • Genetic approaches to the evolution of complex traits (PK, NP, JW, AOU)
  • Evolutionary and ecological genomics of plants and fungi (DH, PK, LDH and SD)
  • Comparative and experimental analysis of sexual conflict (TS, NP)
  • Conservation biology with emphasis on the reintroduction of the Great Bustard (TS)


There are opportunities for postgraduate research throughout our group. Interested students are encouraged to contact academic staff directly or check our PhD projects. For more general information on postgraduate study, please visit the Faculty of Science Graduate School.