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Department of Zoology

Photo of a Cichlid

Evolutionary genetics aims to understand the diversity of life from a genetic perspective, using DNA sequences to study population history and evolution. Increasingly, this involves studies of complete genomes, offering exciting new opportunities to apply a wealth of data in order to address long-standing questions in evolutionary biology. This field has important implications for human welfare, and our department has expertise in the study of human pathogens, notably influenza, as well as addressing fundamental research questions.

Our Research Groups

Insect Evolution and Genomics Group

Christopher Jiggins - we aim to understand development, behaviour, and ecology in order to try to make sense of evolution.

Evolutionary Ecology Group

Andrea Manica - Our group works on understanding how animals (including humans) are adapted to their environment. 

Evolutionary Genetics Group

Nick Mundy - Our main current areas of research is the evolutionary genetics of plumage coloration in birds and the co-evolution of coloration and colour vision in vertebrates.

GeoGenetics Group

Eske Willerslev - We focus on a wide range of ecological and evolutionary questions, predominately through the application of NGS techniques, to better understand how populations, species, and ecosystems change over time.

Molecular Ecology Group

Bill Amos - We study evolutionary population genetics.

Morphological Evolution Group

Emília Santos - Our research focuses on the evolution and diversification of morphological traits – how they are genetically and developmentally determined, and what are the selective forces that shape it.

Pathogen Evolution Group

Derek Smith - Our research focus is to understand the fundamental processes that govern the evolution of pathogens that change over time, with most of our work on influenza viruses, and to use this understanding to potentially predict their evolution.