Ecology and Evolution Group

This is the largest research group within the School of Biology and one of the largest groupings of its kind in the UK. We study evolution in the widest sense, with research themes spanning the entire spectrum of whole-organism-centred research from genes to ecosystems, via research in evolutionary genetics, behavioural ecology and functional design, the evolution of life-histories and population dynamics, and ecosystem-level effects of interactions among species.

Our research straddles the interface between pure and applied genetics and ecology, includes a wide range of organisms and techniques, and encompasses diverse ecosystems throughout the globe. E&E researchers work on natural systems within terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, as well as exploring the impacts of human activity in heavily-modified urban and agricultural landscapes. Research areas are facilitated by close links with interdisciplinary networks including Water@Leeds, Africa College, and the Leeds Food Hub
Group members have also been successful in  generating societal impact through their work, for example through the dissemination of vital resources on biosecurity (Dunn), influence over policy to prevent disease spread to the Galapagos (Goodman), and through dissemination of ecological research relating to food security to a global audience of policymakers (Benton).

Cover of Science Despite widespread concern about declines in pollination services, little is known about the patterns of change in most pollinator assemblages. By studying bees and hoverflies in Britain and the Netherlands, Koos Biesmeijer and colleagues have found a causal connection between local extinctions of plant and pollinator species.
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Group Members