Evolving Organisms Research Group

We research how ecological processes affect evolutionary patterns, and how evolutionary mechanisms, such as natural and sexual selection, shape ecological diversity.

Our research themes

  • Evolutionary interactions between plants and animal pollinators
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Evolutionary selection processes
  • Species' responses to environmental change

Our research

We study a range of problems that relate broadly to the evolution and ecology of organisms. Such research is urgently needed to understand how species adapt to new environmental conditions in response to climate change, environmental contamination or biological invasions.

Evolutionary interactions between plants and animal pollinators

Reproductive strategies determine patterns of gene transfer, and thus are tightly linked to the reproductive success and evolutionary potential of plant populations. Managing and conserving natural populations requires an integrative approach including the study of both ecological interactions and evolutionary dynamics.

Host-parasite interactions

The ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions in invertebrate and vertebrate systems, focusing on ageing-immunity interactions, the influence of parasites in biological invasions and sexual reproduction, and both co-evolutionary and epidemiological processes.

Evolutionary selection processes

How interspecific differences in selection alter investment in sexual traits relative to investment in other aspects of life history, and the role of these differences in creating diversity.

Species’ responses to environmental change

Individual species and ecological systems respond and adapt to exposure to environmental stressors such as heavy metals, ionising radiation, persistent organic chemicals, pests, and climate change. This has implications for environmental management and regulation.

Contact us

Please contact Professor David Copplestone for any queries or information.