The basic principles are simple – variation among individuals, that some variants leave more offspring than others, and that offspring resemble their parents. Biological reality is anything but simple, however. The evolutionary biologist must therefore represent biological systems in ways that leave out many of the details, while retaining enough complexity to ensure that our models, observations and experiments carry explanatory weight. Understanding evolution requires cross-talk between disciplines – from molecular and developmental biology to ecology – and research guided by mathematical modelling and conceptual analysis.
Our research ranges from empirical and theoretical studies to the philosophy of evolutionary biology. Some projects rely heavily on analyses of genomes to reconstruct evolutionary events, while others make use of experiments to reveal the causes of phenotypic divergence, or track individuals in the wild to estimate ongoing selection. Our empirical research is mostly on lizards and water fleas. For details please see the list of current research projects and the webpages of the group members.