Evolution & Adaptation

The focus of this theme is on understanding past and present evolutionary processes. This involves the measurement of adaptive changes in organisms via their phenotypic and genetic responses to environmental change.

Adaptation can be tracked at multiple levels of biological organisation, encompassing biological interactions, selective pressures generated by the environment, fitness relationships, extinction events, and the impact of selection, drift, mutation and migration on the genetic composition of populations.

The Partners have significant expertise in evolutionary and population genetics, evolutionary theory, genomic analysis, palaeobiology, palaeontology, systematics and taxonomy.

The DTP’s members are making world-leading contributions in contexts including: adaptation and the evolution of life histories, biostratigraphy and paleogeography, gene flow and population structure, genome and transcriptome evolution, human evolution, island populations and adaptation, the role of mass extinctions in evolution, microbial evolution, morphological, numerical and molecular methods in classification of extant and extinct organisms, origins of life, reconstruction of phylogenies, sexual selection and mate choice, speciation modes.

Exemplar Projects:

1st Supervisor Inst.: Project Title: 2nd Supervisor: Inst.:
Henry, Lee QMUL The role of symbiosis in the adaptation and diversification of insects
Clayton, David QMUL Identifying the neural mechanisms underlying colony identity Wurm, Yannick QMUL
Wurm, Yannick QMUL Evolutionary genomics in ants Rossiter, Stephen QMUL
Soligo, Christophe UCL Phylogeny, form and function of primate tarsal bones
Underwood, Charlie BBK Mineralisation in the chondrichthyan vertebral column: evolutionary patterns and functional diversity Johanson, Zerina NHM
Mank, Judith UCL The evolution of guppy sex chromosomes, and their role in sexually selected traits

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