Our people and our science

Academic staff in the Department and their research teams

Our work is centred around four main themes:

Adaptation to Environmental Change

Ecology and Evolution of Host-Microbe Interactions

Evolutionary Genomics

Social Behaviour


Here you can meet our academic staff and research fellows and watch videos about our science.

Back to: Institute of Integrative Biology

  • Professor Mark Viney - Head of Department

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    Mark studies the biology of infectious disease, particularly the biology of parasitic nematode worms, and the immune state of wild mammals. View full profile

    Researchers

  • Professor David Atkinson - Professor of Integrative Ecology

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    David works to understand and predict adaptive responses of organisms, and impacts on ecosystems, arising from widespread environmental change (e.g. climate, eutrophication). View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Garrath Leighton - Oxygen supply and respiratory adaptations in aquatic ectotherms: mechanisms and ecological consequences
    • Laura Lee - Life in 4D – Towards improved predictions of growth, death, and the pace of life under global change
    • Benjamin Shelford Walsh - Will the impact of juvenile temperatures on fertility alter how species respond to climate change?
    • Ross Kelly - Endosymbiotic interactions in freshwater invertebrates: what are the microbes doing?
    • Helen Davison - Evolutionary physiology of tissue oxygenation in mammals
  • Dr Seth Barribeau - Lecturer

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    Seth is an evolutionary ecologist who is broadly interested in the interactions between microbes and their insect hosts and how this interaction shapes the evolution of the insect immune system and other traits, such as life history. View full profile

    PhD students

    • Lauren Mee - Evolutionary interactions between hosts, pathogens, and microbiomes across multiple origins of sociality in Hymenoptera
  • Professor Michael Begon - Professor of Ecology

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    Michael is Professor of Ecology and former Head of the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour 2010-2018. View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Gabriel Pedra - Predicting the environmental risk of transmission of leptospirosis
    • Shaun Keegan - The spatial ecology of host-parasite communities’
  • Dr Michael Berenbrink - Senior Lecturer

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    Michael is interested in the diversity of physiological mechanisms that animals employ in different environments or with different life-styles. The focus of his work is on the respiratory system of vertebrates, particularly the evolution of blood oxygen and carbon dioxide transport mechanisms and haemoglobin function. View full profile

    PhD students

    • Kelly Ross - Evolutionary physiology of tissue oxygenation in mammals
    • Garrath Leighton - Oxygen supply and respiratory adaptations in aquatic ectotherms: Mechanisms and ecological consequences
  • Professor Andrea Betancourt - Professor of Evolutionary Genetics

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    Andrea is an evolutionary geneticist working to answer questions about adaptation such as: Do sex and recombination allow rapid adaptation? Does sex-linkage promote adaptation? View full profile

    Researchers

  • Dr Marcus Blagrove - Tenure Track Fellow in Arbovirology

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    Marcus is interested in the effect of temperature on virus transmission, including the minimum environmental temperature required for transmission, to identify regions at risk from invasive or endemic viruses. He is also interested in the potential for viruses to adapt to different conditions, and consequently, the risk they may pose in the future. View full profile

  • Dr Jonathan Bollback - Senior Lecturer

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    Jon's research focuses on understanding evolutionary constraints. To better understand these constraints, his work focuses on four areas: horizontal gene transfer (HGT), gene regulation, costs and benefits of immunity, and the properties of mutations.  View full profile

  • Dr Jakob Bro-Jorgensen - Senior Lecturer

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    Jakob is an evolutionary ecologist with broad interests in behaviour, ecology and conservation. He is working to uncover fundamental principles governing behavioural responses in animals and how these feed back at the population- and ecosystem level. View full profile

    PhD students

    • Giacomo D'Ammando - The evolutionary ecology of multiple signalling systems
  • Dr Stephen Cornell - Reader

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    Stephen a theoretical ecologist. He uses mathematical models to understand how organisms interact with each other and with their environment. View full profile

    PhD students

    • Vincent Keenan - The role of dispersal polymorphism and life history tradeoffs in range expansions
    • Adam Fisher - Sexual cannibalism in declining populations
    • Lingzi Wang - Organisation of layered defence in biology
    • Laura Lee - Life in 4D – Towards Improved Predictions of Growth, Death, and the Pace of Life Under Global Change
    • Thomas Travers - Improving the planning of restoration for long-term functioning of habitat networks
  • Dr Liam Dougherty - Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

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    Liam studies the evolution of mate choice in insects and other animals. View full profile

  • Professor Andy Fenton - Professor of Theoretical Ecology

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    Andy’s work is understanding the occurrence and consequences of interactions between species in natural communities, with a particular focus on infectious diseases. View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Cassandra Louise Raby - Understanding changes in the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks as a result of climate change: insights from a seasonal host-parasite system
    • Shaun Keegan - The spatial ecology of host-parasite communities’
    • Bryony Elizabeth Allen - From individual behaviour to population-level transmission: bridging disease ecology scales with the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
    • Fiona Anne Bell - When species can't keep up: evaluating landscape conservation actions needed under climate change
    • Jordan Elouise Jones - Evolutionary ecology of anti-parasite defences: integrating genetic, symbiotic and behavioural protection
  • Dr Cristina Garcia Perez - Tenure Track Fellow

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    Cristina is a plant ecologist interested in investigating the chances of remnant forest patches persisting, and eventually expanding across managed landscapes, in a changing world where climate extremes are expected to increase in frequency and magnitude. View full profile

  • Dr James Hall - Tenure Track Fellow

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    James is a microbiologist who has studied evolution in bacteria, parasites, and viruses. His current research uses experimental genomics and modelling approaches to investigate how ecology and evolution shape, and are shaped by, horizontal gene transfer in bacterial communities. View full profile

  • Dr Jenny Hodgson - Lecturer

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    Jenny is a conservation biologist interested in how the spatial arrangement of land use and management affects the viability of species. Jenny uses a mixture of empirical and modelling approaches. View full profile

    PhD students

    • Fiona Anne Bell - When species can't keep up: evaluating landscape conservation actions needed under climate change
    • Thomas Travers - Improving the planning of restoration for long-term functioning of habitat networks
    • Bryony Elizabeth Allen - From individual behaviour to population-level transmission: bridging disease ecology scales with the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
    • Evelyn Diana Taylor-Cox - The ecological genomics of range expansion under climate change in the speckled wood butterfly
    • Yuan-Fu Chan - When does genetic diversity matter? The conservation of genetic biodiversity in a changing world
  • Professor Greg Hurst - Derby Chair of Zoology

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    Greg is an evolutionary biologist interested in the role of biotic forces in evolution and ecology. His 'big question' is: 'how would the world be if animals and plants did not have symbionts?' Greg also works to exploit our fundamental understanding of host-symbiont interactions to improve bee husbandry and reduce the impact of vector born disease on livestock. View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Georgia Drew - Friend or foe: Establishing the role of Arsenophonus in honey bee health
    • Joanne Griffin - The biology of host shifts: a case of no return?
    • Panupong Thongprem - Studies of the interaction between heritable microbes and spiders
    • Jordan Elouise Jones - Evolutionary ecology of anti-parasite defences: integrating genetic, symbiotic and behavioural protection
    • Helen Davison - Endosymbiotic interactions in freshwater invertebrates: what are the microbes doing?
    • Lauren Mee - Evolutionary interactions between hosts, pathogens, and microbiomes across multiple origins of sociality in Hymenoptera
  • Professor Jane Hurst - William Prescott Chair of Animal Science

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    Jane’s main interests are in the functions, mechanisms and evolution of scent communication in mammals, animal welfare (particularly in relation to laboratory animals), rodent pest control, and the interactions between behaviour and disease. View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Holly Amelia Coombes - Genetic signals underlying individual and kin recognition in mammals
    • Rhiannon Louise Bolton - Proximate mediators of competitive behaviour in cooperatively breeding mammals
    • Rutendo Mary-Ann Wazara - Social welfare of captive asian elephants
    • Callum Duffield - Social competition in mammals: effects of environmental conditions on competition within and between social groups
    • Emma Cartledge - Conservation ecology of a re-introduced dormouse population
  • Dr David Montagnes - Reader

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    David combines taxonomic and ecological expertise with laboratory studies to explore how protists behave in relation to a range of factors, including temperature shifts caused by global climate change. View full profile

  • Dr Siobhan O'Brien - Tenure Track Fellow

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    Siobhan’s research asks broad questions about how microbial communities evolve and function. In particular, she is interested in how intra- and interspecific interactions within these communities can drive evolutionary changes, and how evolution can in turn shape community context. View full profile

  • Dr Vicencio Oostra - Independent Research Fellow

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    Vicencio is an evolutionary biologist, interested in analysing physiological, genetic and evolutionary mechanisms by which individuals and populations cope with environmental change, including climate change. Vicencio's research uses temperate and tropical butterflies to study how phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary adaptation interact, and how genetic, regulatory, and developmental cascades that accomplish environmental responses may act as constraints on rapid adaptation.. View full profile

  • Professor Steve Paterson - Professor of Genetics

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    Steve is a population geneticist working primarily on genetic diversity in host-parasite interactions. He was one of the first to apply next-generation sequencing to experimental evolution, and demonstrated that co-evolution between hosts and parasites accelerated rates of molecular evolution. He has worked on field, clinical and experimental systems and leads a NERC large grant studying immunological variation in the wild. View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Olukayode Olugbenga Daramola - Bioinformatic analysis of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica
    • Cassandra Louise Raby - Understanding changes in the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks as a result of climate change: insights from a seasonal host-parasite system
    • Joanne Griffin - The biology of host shifts: a case of no return?
  • Dr Stewart Plaistow - Senior Lecturer

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    Stew’s research focuses on invertebrate life-history evolution in natural and model systems. He uses field-based experiments and lab-based microcosm studies to try and understand how the interaction between the environment and individual level and population level processes shape the evolution and diversity of life-history strategies within natural populations. View full profile

    Researchers

  • Dr Tom Price - Senior Lecturer

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    Tom is an evolutionary biologist investigating the feedback between genes, individual behaviour, and population level effects. He is particularly interested in sex chromosome meiotic drive, which he studies in a variety of species of fruit fly, and in the interplay between selfish genes, the environment, and fertility. View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Adam Fisher - Sexual cannibalism in declining populations
    • Benjamin Shelford Walsh - Will the impact of juvenile temperatures on fertility alter how species respond to climate change?
    • Volha Paulouskaya - Population genetics of piRNA clusters in Drosophila
  • Professor Ilik Saccheri - Professor of Ecological Genetics

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    Ilik’s research is broadly aimed at understanding the factors that maintain genetic and phenotypic variation in natural populations. He studies this diverse problem in different species of moths and butterflies, in the context of rapid adaptation to environmental change (industrial melanism and insecticide resistance), conservation biology (response to climate change and habitat fragmentation), and genetic load (inbreeding depression and sex-determination). View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Evelyn Diana Taylor-Cox - The ecological genomics of range expansion under climate change in the speckled wood butterfly
    • Vincent Keenan - The role of dispersal polymorphism and life history tradeoffs in range expansions
    • Di Yang - Effects of the biotic environment on adaptation to moisture deficit in the grass Festuca ovina
    • Toby James Irving - The Conservation of Climatically-Adaptive Genetic Variation
  • Professor Paula Stockley - Professor of Evolutionary Ecology

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    Paula’s research focuses on mechanisms and evolutionary consequences of reproductive competition and sexual selection, particularly in mammals. She has broad interests in the fields of behavioural and evolutionary ecology relating to reproductive strategies, life history evolution and social behaviour. View full profile

    PhD students

    • Rhiannon Louise Bolton - Proximate mediators of competitive behaviour in cooperatively breeding mammals
    • Rutendo Mary-Ann Wazara - Social welfare of captive asian elephants
    • Callum Duffield - Social competition in mammals: effects of environmental conditions on competition within and between social groups
    • Emma Cartledge - Conservation ecology of a re-introduced dormouse population
    • Holly Amelia Coombes - Genetic signals underlying individual and kin recognition in mammals
    • Giacomo D'Ammando - The evolutionary ecology of multiple signalling systems
  • Dr Raj Whitlock - Senior Lecturer

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    Raj is an ecological geneticist studying plant community ecology, molecular ecology and responses to environmental change. His primary research interest involves the study of eco-evolutionary responses to anthropogenic climate change, using grassland model systems. View full profile

    Researchers

    PhD students

    • Di Yang - Effects of the biotic environment on adaptation to moisture deficit in the grass Festuca ovina
    • Toby James Irving - The conservation of climatically-adaptive genetic variation
    • Yuan-Fu Chan - When does genetic diversity matter? The conservation of genetic biodiversity in a changing world
  • Dr Stuart Wigby - Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics

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    Stuart's research focusses on fundamental questions on the themes of reproduction and life-history. Primarily he uses the Drosophila model, linking fitness with mechanisms by combining evolutionary and behavioural ecology with genetics, molecular biology and ‘omics. Stuart is particularly interested in the role of reproductive proteins in mediating competition and conflict in, and how these processes are impacted by environmental factors and ageing. View full profile.

  • Dr Sharon Zytynska - BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow

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    Sharon works on plant-microbe insect interactions. Her research investigates how we can use beneficial soil bacteria and earthworms to increase plant yield while simultaneouslydefending against insect pests. View full profile