Evolution Research Group
Head: Professor Julie Hawkins
Molecular data are used to study the ecology and evolution of plants, animals and microbes. We have a major strength in the use of DNA sequence data to construct molecular phylogenies to unravel patterns in the evolution of biodiversity including responses to climate change. We also make extensive use of molecular ecology to understand structure, dispersal and history of populations in plants, fungi, and animals. Human languages, like genes, evolve over time. Mark Pagel, Andrew Meade and colleagues in the Evolution research group at Reading use statistical and computational methods inspired by genetic evolution to study the evolution of language and culture. Reading University hosts the Species 2000 secretariat which has responsibility for publication of the Catalogue of Life.
This group aims to change the way evolutionary biologists think about and study evolution, both through methodological innovation (provision of tools and data) and by applying established evolutionary methods to unconventional systems.
Over the next five years the Evolution group will:
- Continue to develop important new phylogenetic methodologies and tools for the evolutionary biology community.
- Apply these phylogenetic methods to a range of non-conventional systems, such as human culture, language and medicinal plant use, while consolidating phylogenetic work in established systems, namely plants and arachnids.
- Develop complementary experimental methods to test phylogenetic assumptions and predictions in areas such as genetic code evolution and cancer biology.
|Professor James Cook||
Symbiosis and coevolution, Sex ratios and mating systems, Insect-plant interactions, Figs and fig wasps
|Dr Alastair Culham||
Biodiversity informatics, evolutionary responses to climate change, plant phylogeny and taxonomy, DNA barcoding & molecular markers
Plant Evolution, Plant Conservation, Plant DNA certification, Taxonomy, Wildlife trade and conservation, Molecular phylogenetics.
|Dr Louise Johnson||
Evolution, genetics, intragenomic conflict, genomics, levels of selection, genome defence
|Dr Andrew Meade||
Phylogentic inference, Comparative methods, Computational biology and High performance computing
|Professor Mark Pagel||
Evolution, computational biology, language evolution, phylogeny, Markov chain Monte Carlo
|Dr M. Alejandra Perotti||
Genes and environment, Forensic biology, Acarology, Mites, endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia
Phylogenetic inference and comparative methods, Speciation, Adaptation and Rates of Evolution
|Dr Richard Walters||
Evolutionary Ecology and Adaptation to Climate Change