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We are a dynamic, high-performing research division addressing important questions about the past, present and future of the living world at all scales.

This includes how gene networks evolve, the behaviour of microbes and complex higher organisms, how this mediates large-scale patterns of extinction risk, and how evolutionary adaptation to climate change can affect biodiversity and resilience.

Our research will change the way people think about, and study, ecology and evolution.


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology research division

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology research division is a community of passionate experts dedicated to discovery in this field. We bring perspectives ranging from senior academics to PhD and master's students and post-doc staff.

This diversity of experience allows us a varied approach to our research. We are committed to both the discovery and the sharing of knowledge – maintaining research excellence whilst integrating active projects with teaching.

By using current projects to teach undergraduate students, we ensure that the next generation of biological scientists are engaged with current issues from the beginning.

Discover the University's Environment research theme

Ecology research

Biodiversity underpins the wellbeing of society in multiple complex ways. We explore fundamental questions in biology by studying organisms and their environments, examining large scale phenomena and complex trophic interactions, and applying the outcomes of our research to real world problems, in turn influencing the public, government and industry.

We have strengths in molecular ecology, field ecology and modelling skills, including advanced quantitative methods such as mechanistic process modelling and statistical ecology. We apply these skills to address applied challenges in areas such as climate change adaptation, design of habitat networks and agri-environment schemes, forensic sciences, biopesticide usage, conservation biology, and urban ecology.

Evolution research

Evolutionary processes are responsible for the diversity of life on Earth. We aim to understand these processes of change by investigating evolutionary processes operating at many different spatial and temporal scales.

We develop innovative statistical methods to incorporate fossils and geographic data into phylogenies, to detect natural selection on phenotypes, and to probe gene network evolution and adaptive landscapes.

We apply our phylogenetic methods to understand human and cultural evolution using ethnobotanical, linguistic and ectoparasite data. We apply evolutionary methods to study systems of practical significance, for example, exploiting our taxonomic expertise to influence forensics, and co-opting approaches from experimental evolution to inform cancer biology.

Contact the School

If you wish to contribute to our research, please get in touch with us.


PhD study

Embark on your doctorate in an inspiring research environment where you'll find a supportive academic community. 
Close-up of headlice in a person's hair

Dr Perotti's story

Here at Reading, students will have the opportunity to interact directly with academics who do very interesting and impacting research.

Dr Alejandra Perotti, Associate Professor


Our staff

Our School is home to some of the finest minds in the ecological and evolutionary biology fields. Get in touch with us to learn more about our research.
Athena SWAN Silver Award