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Research themes

Genomic basis of adaptation and speciation

Adaptation and speciation proceed through the build-up of genetic changes within and between populations. We use large-scale genomic datasets from plants and animals to determine the number, effect size and genomic distribution of loci that underpin evolutionary change. 

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The evolution of reproductive barriers 

What are the traits, factors and ecological processes that keep diverging populations separate? We use lab and field studies to quantify the strength of reproductive isolation and identify traits and behaviours that acts as reproductive barriers. 

The origins of novelty 

How does novelty arise in evolution? Although evolution is a gradual process, is sometimes leads to striking new abilities. An example we study is the transition from egg-laying to live-bearing. We aim to understand how novelty evolves, and the role that it plays in driving diversification and speciation. 

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Causes of fitness variation

Why do some individuals leave more offspring than others? Although variation in fitness is the fuel upon which natural selection acts, it is very difficult to understand why individual reproductive success varies. We study fitness variation in the wild to determine the roles of traits, genes and the environment.

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