Strategies for Life

Our Research

Organisms exhibit remarkable diversity in how they grow, survive, reproduce and die. Understanding the behavioural and physiological strategies they use, how these strategies have evolved, and how they respond to changing social and environmental conditions is key to understanding and preserving this biodiversity, both now and in the future.

Sexual Selection

Sexual selection is the process whereby individuals of either sex compete to reproduce. Within this topic, we investigate how (and why) animals signal (visually, acoustically, and chemically) to prospective mates, how these signals evolved, and how individuals compete for access to reproduction both before and after mating.

Reproductive Traits

What drives the evolution of reproductive traits in animals and plants? We investigate the mechanisms males and females use to maximise their reproductive fitness, their adaptations to different environments, and plasticity in the face of climate change.

Ageing and the Pace of Life

Lifespan varies widely in nature, with some organisms adopting a ‘live fast, die young’ strategy, while others live for thousands of years. Even within a lifespan, the success with which organisms reproduce and repair themselves declines with age, known as senescence. But what controls how organisms age? We study this both experimentally within model organisms, and computationally across the tree of life.


Key Personnel and Expertise

Dr Sheena Cotter – Eco-immunology, nutritional ecology, host-parasite interactions, insect ecology

Dr Shaun Coutts - Population ecology, invasion ecology, weed management, spatio-temporal modelling

Dr Charles Deeming – Avian and reptilian reproduction

Dr Jenny Dunn – Host-parasite interactions and parasite transmission in wildlife

Dr Paul Eady – Behavioural ecology

Dr Adrian Goodman – Plant biomechanics

Dr Graziella Iossa – Behavioural and evolutionary ecology, antimicrobial resistance in the environment, ecosystems and human health

Dr Tom Pike – Sensory and behavioural ecology

Professor Fernando Montealegre-Z – Sensory biology, biomechanics of sound production and hearing in insects

Dr Marcello Ruta – Analytical evolutionary palaeobiology

Dr Carl Soulsbury – Behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology

Dr Iain Stott – Computational ecology

Dr Sandra Varga – Plant and soil ecology

Prof Dave Wilkinson – Ecology, evolution, archaeology and Earth System Science