Evolution and Ecology Research Group

Understanding the Evolution and Ecology of Populations

The Evolution and Ecology research group is a highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary community of academics, postgraduate students, and postdoctoral researchers. We aim to understand the evolution and ecology of populations, species, and communities across all levels of biological organisation, from genes through to ecosystems. Key themes within our research include the diversification of species over time, the response of species, populations and communities to global change, and behavioural ecology. Current areas of research within the group include sexual selection, plant-animal interactions, sensory ecology, population genetics and ecology, paleobiology, natural selection and macroecology, microbial ecology, and comparative biomechanics.

Our interdisciplinary research benefits from strong links with members of the School of Psychology and the School of Computer Science, other research groups within Life Sciences, particularly the Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare group, and through a network of national and international collaborations.

Research Activity

NamePosition/Research interests 
Dr Nadia Andreani

Research Fellow
Microbial communities, molecular biology

Dr Emine Celiker

Research Fellow
Numeric modelling

Dr Sheena Cotter Senior Lecturer
Eco-immunology, nutritional ecology, host-parasite interactions, insect ecology
Prof Charles Deeming Associate Professor
Avian and reptilian reproduction
01522 835452
Dr Jenny Dunn Lecturer in Animal Health and Disease
Host-parasite interactions and parasite transmission in wildlife
01522 835845
Prof Paul Eady Associate Professor
Behavioural ecology
01522 835461
Dr Michael Gillman Senior Lecturer
Ecology, evolution, statistics, mathematical models
Prof Matthew Goddard Professor
Population and community ecology
Prof Adrian Goodman Associate Professor
Plant biomechanics
01522 886802
Dr Oscar Guadayol i Roig Research Fellow oguadayolroig@lincoln.ac.uk
Prof Stephen Hall Emeritus Professor sthall@lincoln.ac.uk
Prof Stuart Humphries Professor of Evolutionary Biophysics
Comparative biomechanics and biological fluid dynamics
01522 886018
Dr Graziella Iossa Lecturer
Behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology
01522 837039
Prof Libby John Pro Vice Chancellor/Head of College of Science and Engineering
Plant ecology, plant-animal interactions, root-soil interactions, biodiversity
Dr Thorin Jonsson Postdoctoral researcher
Bioacoustics and biomechanics of acoustic communication in insects
Prof Fernando Montealegre-Z Professor of Sensory Biology
Sensory biology, biomechanics of sound production and hearing in insects
01522 835460
Dr Manabu Sakamoto Senior Lecturer
Dr Tom Pike Senior Lecturer
Sensory and behavioural ecology
01522 835255
Dr Lan Qie

Senior Lecturer
Ecology, Conservation, Carbon Accounting, Tropical Forests, Land Use, Ecosystem Management, Climate Change, Plant-animal Interactions, Environmental Technology


Dr Marcello Ruta Senior Lecturer
Analytical evolutionary palaeobiology
01522 835470
Dr Carl Soulsbury Senior Lecturer
Behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology
01522 835026
Dr Iain Stott Lecturer
Computational ecology
Prof Gregory Sutton Royal Society University Research Fellow gsutton@lincoln.ac.uk
Dr Sandra Varga Senior Lecturer
Plant and mycorrhizal ecology
01522 837403
Prof Dave Wilkinson Visiting Professor
Ecology, evolution, archaeology and Earth Science


School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln. LN6 7TS 

email: enquiries@lincoln.ac.uk
tel: + 44 (0)1522 886654

Representative recent publications:

Schuech, R., Hoehfurtner, T., Smith, D. and Humphries, S. (2019) Motile curved bacteria are Pareto-optimal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116, 14440 -14447.

Morrison-Whittle, P. and Goddard, M.R. (2018) From vineyard to winery: a source map of microbial diversity driving wine fermentation. Environmental Microbiology, 20, 75-84.

El baidouri, F., Venditti, C. and Humphries, S. (2017) Independent evolution of shape and motility allows evolutionary flexibility in Firmicutes bacteria. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 0009.

Woodrow, C., Pulver, C.A., Veitch, D. and Montealegre-Z, F. (2019) Bioacoustics and biophysical analysis of a newly described highly transparent genus of predatory katydids from the Andean cloud forest (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Meconematinae: Phlugidini). Bioacoustics, 28.

Bailey, N.W., Pascoal, S. and Montealegre-Z, F. (2019) The role of trait reversal in evolutionary diversification: A test using song loss in wild crickets. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116, 8941-8949.

Rayner, J.G., Aldridge, S., Montealegre-Z, F. and Bailey, N. (2019) A silent orchestra: convergent song loss in Hawaiian crickets is repeated, morphologically varied, and widespread. Ecology.

Iossa, G., Maury, C., Fletcher, R.M. and Eady, P. (2019) Temperature-induced developmental plasticity in Plodia interpunctella: reproductive behaviour and sperm length. Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

Gunther, C., Knight, S., Jones, R. and Goddard, M. (2019) Are Drosophila preferences for yeasts stable or contextual? Ecology and Evolution, 9, 8075-8086.

Sakamoto, M., Ruta, M. and Venditti, C. (2019) Extreme and rapid bursts of functional adaptations shape bite force in amniotes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286.

Cocks, O. and Eady, P. (2018) Microsurgical manipulation reveals pre-copulatory function of key genital sclerites. Journal of Experimental Biology.

Deeming, C. (2018) Nesting environment may drive variation in eggshell structure and egg characteristics in the Testudinata. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology, 329, 331-342.

Deeming, C. and Mayr, G. (2018) Pelvis morphology suggests that early Mesozoic birds were too heavy to contact incubate their egg. Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

Cotter, S., Reavey, C., Tummala, Y., Randall, J., Holdbrook, R., Ponton, F., Simpson, S., Smith, J. and Wilson, K. (2019) Diet modulates the relationship between immune gene expression and physiological immune responses. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 109, 128-141.

Al shareefi, E. and Cotter, S. (2018) The nutritional ecology of maturation in a carnivorous insect. Behavioral Ecology.

Miller, C. and Cotter, S. (2018) Resistance and tolerance: the role of nutrients on pathogen dynamics and infection outcomes in an insect host. Journal of Animal Ecology, 87, 500-510.

Lennon, R.J., Isaac, N.J.B., Shore, R.F., Peach, W.J., Dunn, J., Pereira, M.G., Arnold, K.E., Garthwaite, D. and Brown, C.D. (2019) Using long-term datasets to assess the impacts of dietary exposure to neonicotinoids on farmland bird populations in England. PLoS ONE.

Dunn, J., Stockdale, J.E., Moorhouse-Gann, R.J., McCubbin, A., Hipperson, H., Morris, A.J., Grice, P.V. and Symondson, W.O.C. (2018) The decline of the Turtle Dove: dietary associations with body condition and competition with other columbids analysed using high throughput sequencing. Molecular Ecology, 27, 3386-3407.

Moorhouse-Gann, R.J., Dunn, J., de Vere, N., Goder, M., Cole, N., Hipperson, H. and Symondson, W.O.C. (2018) New universal ITS2 primers for high-resolution herbivory analyses using DNA metabarcoding in both tropical and temperate zones. Scientific Reports, 8, 8542.

Richardson, G., Dickinson, P., Burman, O. and Pike, T. (2018) Unpredictable movement as an anti-predator strategy. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285.

Qie, L., Telford, E.M., Massam, M.R., Tangki, H., Nilus, R., Hector, A. and Ewers, R.M. (2019) Drought cuts back regeneration in logged tropical forests. Environmental Research Letters.

Pike, T., Ramsey, M. and Wilkinson, A. (2018) Environmentally-induced changes to brain morphology predict cognitive performance. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 373.

Pike, T.W. (2018) Discrimination of signal carotenoid content using multidimensional chromatic information. Behavioral Ecology, 29, 87-92.

Finka, L., Luna, S., Brondani, J., Tzimiropoulos, Y., McDonagh, J., Farnworth, M., Ruta, M. and Mills, D. (2019) Geometric morphometrics for the study of facial expressions in non-human animals, using the domestic cat as an exemplar. Scientific Reports, 9.

Clack, J.A., Ruta, M., Milner, A.R., Marshall, J.E.A., Smithson, T.R. and Smithson, K.Z. (2019) Acherontiscus caledoniae, the earliest heterodont and durophagous tetrapod. Royal Society Open Science, 6.

Soulsbury, C. (2019) Income and capital breeding in males: energetic and physiological limitations on male mating strategies. Journal of Experimental Biology, 222.

Soulsbury, C., Lipponen, A., Wood, K., Mein, C., Hoffman, J. and Lebigre, C. (2018) Age and quality-dependent DNA methylation correlate with melanin-based colouration in a wild bird. Ecology and Evolution, 8, 6547-6557.

Pike, T. (2018) Quantifying camouflage and conspicuousness using visual salience. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9, 1883-1895.

Varga, S. and Soulsbury, C. (2018) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi change host plant DNA methylation systemically. Plant Biology.

Suarez, D., ... Qie, Lan et al. (2019) Estimating above ground net biomass change for tropical and subtropical forests: refinement of IPCC default rates using forest plot data. Global Change Biology.

Esquivel?Muelbert, A., ... Qie, Lan et al. (2019) Compositional response of Amazon forests to climate change. Global Change Biology, 25, 39-56.

Jucker, T., Bongalov, B., Burslem, D.F.R.P., Nilus, R., Dalponte, M., Lewis, S.L., Phillips, O.L., Qie, L. and Coomes, D.A. (2018) Topography shapes the structure, composition and function of tropical forest landscapes. Ecology Letters, 21, 989-1000.

Sullivan, M.J.P., Lewis, S.L., Hubau, W., Qie, L., et al. (2018) Field methods for sampling tree height for tropical forest biomass estimation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9 (5). 1179-1189.

Slik, J.W.F., ... Qie, L. et al. (2018) Phylogenetic classification of the world’s tropical forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 1837-1842.

Baudisch, A., Stott, I. and Ramula, S. (2019) A pace and shape perspective on fertility. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

Sutton, G., Mendoza, E., Azizi, E., Longo, S., Olberding, J., Ilton, M. and Patek, S. (2019) Why don't large animals exclusively use springs to jump? Because they can jump higher without them. Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Williams, J., Schönlieb, C.-B., Swinfield, T., Lee, J., Cai, X., Qie, L. and Coomes, D.A. (2019) Three-dimensional segmentation of trees through a flexible multi-class graph cut algorithm (MCGC). IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 1-23.

Farley, G.M. and Wise, M.J. and Harrison, J.S. and Sutton, Gregory and Kuo, C and Patek, S.N. (2019) Adhesive latching and legless leaping in small, worm-like insect larvae. Journal of Experimental Biology.

Wilson, Kenneth, Robert Holdbrook, Catherine E. Reavey, Joanna L. Randall, Yamini Tummala, Fleur Ponton, Stephen J. Simpson, Judith A. Smith, and Sheena C. Cotter. "Osmolality as a Novel Mechanism Explaining Diet Effects on the Outcome of Infection with a Blood Parasite." Current Biology (2020).

School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln. LN6 7TS

email: enquiries@lincoln.ac.uk
tel: + 44 (0)1522 886654

We welcome applications at any time from prospective MSc by Research (MScRes), MPhil and PhD students wishing to join our thriving postgraduate research community. For further information on the range of research topics available and details of how to apply please see the School of Life Sciences Postgraduate webpages.


School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln. LN6 7TS

email: enquiries@lincoln.ac.uk
tel: + 44 (0)1522 886654