To understand the past, present and future of biological diversity, we work at scales ranging from genome organisation to global change biology.

Our research is addressing current and future issues around environmental change. We achieve this by combining theoretical research with laboratory studies and fieldwork.

Italian sparrow


Our ecology and evolution research delivers positive benefits for the planet and its inhabitants.

We focus on research that addresses three global challenges:

Research highlights


Name Expertise
Colin Beale
  • Spatial ecology 
  • Conservation biology
  • Savannah ecology
Kanchon Dasmahapatra
  • Speciation genomics
  • Genetic basis of adaptive traits
  • Molecular ecology
Calvin Dytham
  • Evolutionary ecology
  • Spatial pattern and dispersal
  • Agent-based models
Julia Ferrari
  • Insect-microbe-symbiosis
  • Evolutionary ecology of plant-insect-natural enemy interactions
  • Ecological genetics of species interactions
Alastair Fitter CBE, FRS
  • Plant and ecosystem ecology
  • Mycorrhizas
  • Conservation
Paul Fogg
  • Viruses of microbes
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Bacterial evolution
Daniel Franks
  • Social behaviour and social networks
  • Life-history evolution
  • Behavioural ecology
Ville Friman
  • Host-parasite coevolution in multitrophic microbial communities
  • Plant-microbiome feedbacks in agricultural context
  • Biocontrol and phage therapy in agricultural and clinical contexts
Sue Hartley
  • Soil-plant-herbivore interactions
  • Silicon-based plant defences
  • Sustainable agriculture and agri-environmental policy
Thorunn Helgason
  • Community ecology of soil microbes
  • Microbe-host (plant and animal) interactions
  • Arbuscular mycorrhizas and their diversity in field systems
Jane Hill
  • Ecological impacts of climate change
  • Landscape connectivity 
  • Sustainable palm oil
Angela Hodge
  • Plant-soil-microbial interactions
  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza
  • Nutrient cycling
Phil Ineson
  • Global change biology
  • Monitoring land-based carbon dioxide emissions
  • Soil biology
Daniel Jeffares
  • Genome and molecular evolution
  • Microbial population genomics and quantitative genetics
  • UK:Brazil Joint Centre Partnership in leishmaniasis
Richard Law
  • Marine ecosystem dynamics
  • Spatial processes in ecology
  • Adaptive evolution
Benjamin Lichman
  • Plant natural product biosynthesis
  • Evolution of plant specialised metabolism
  • Mechanism and applications of enzymes from plant specialised metabolism 
Peter Mayhew
  • Evolutionary ecology
  • Insect ecology 
  • Evolution in deep time
Geoff Oxford
  • Species limits and hybridisation in large house spiders
  • Evolutionary significance of colour polymorphisms in spiders
  • Conservation ecology of the endangered Tansy beetle
Jon Pitchford
  • Dynamical systems and stochastic processes
  • Marine ecosystems and fisheries dynamics 
  • Mathematical ecology
Kelly Redeker
  • Land use change and ecosystem function
  • Plant/microbe defense and signalling through release of volatile compounds
  • Polar science
Elva Robinson
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Collective behaviour
  • Ecological impacts of social insects
Chris Thomas FRS
Mark Williamson
  • Biological invasions
  • Macroecology and species abundance relationships
  • Population dynamics and cycles
Jamie Wood
  • Mathematical and computational methods
  • Systems biology
  • Microbial ecology and metabolism
J Peter W Young
  • Population genomics of bacteria
  • Genome-based bacterial taxonomy
  • Diversity of rhizobia