Evolution & Diversity

Our research is united by an interest in biological diversity, and the evolutionary processes that have produced that diversity. Members of the theme work across taxonomic levels, and on organisms from viruses to vertebrates.


Postgraduate research students

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Image of an alpine newt on mossy branch
Much of our research uses modern high-throughput genome sequencing approaches to address a broad range of fundamental and applied evolutionary problems. 
Specific areas of interest include the basis of adaptation to changing biological and physical environments, the process and underlying mechanisms of speciation and morphological change, the role of mating systems and the interplay of ecological and evolutionary processes.
Another strand of work is on integrating biodiversity data and measuring and quantifying diversity. Specific applied interests are in using genetic data to inform conservation decisions, the evolutionary genomics of parasite populations and in the evolutionary implications of  fisheries and aquaculture. 

Research Links

Our research activities are naturally linked with those of other research themes within the Institute and throughout the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences. We have strong links with the Infectious Disease Ecology theme, the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and the  Wellcome Center for Integrative Parasitology around the evolution of infectious diseases and host-parasite interactions and the use of methods from evolutionary genetics to study pathogen populations. A shared interest in biodiversity, evolutionary ecology and in evolutionary responses to environmental change unite us with the Ecology & Environmental Change theme, and there is a strong interest in life history evolution in the Physiology, Ageing and Welfare theme.  Many members of the theme make use of high-throughput data generated by Glasgow Polyomics.
Theme leader: James Cotton