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.:
Elphick, Maurice QMUL Reconstructing the evolutionary history of neuropeptide signalling in the phylum Echinodermata Ewin, Tim NHM
Ruban, Alexander QMUL Molecular factors ensuring high adaptability of Hedera helix to the light environment Leitch, Illa KEW
Bass, David NHM Developing the eDNA toolkit to meet policy challenges Brown, Mark RHUL
Olson, Peter NHM The role of transcription factor evolution in flatworm parasitism Stollewerk, Angelika QMUL
Fowler, Kevin UCL Meiotic drive, condition and sexual selection in stalk-eyed flies Pomiankowski, Andrew UCL
Reuter, Max UCL Investigating the genetics and evolution of sexual antagonism Fowler, Kevin UCL

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