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UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science

Scoil na BitheolaĆ­ochta agus na hEolaĆ­ochta Comhshaoil UCD

Evolution and Population Biology

Complete fossil of bird: Image by Gareth Dyke

Complete fossil of bird: Image by Gareth Dyke

The evolutionary process is intrinsic to all biological systems and is therefore the unifying theory of every biological science. Understanding and measuring this process will allow us uncover the history of life and can explain the causes of biodiversity. Our evolution and population biology research programme examines evolution at different transects of time using morphological, life-history, and molecular genetic methods.The strength of our programme resides in its multidisciplinary nature. We examine evolutionary processes in both plants and animals using palaeontology, phylogenetics, population genetics, developmental biology, as well as host-parasite interactions, eco-morphology, behaviour and comparative genomics.

Researchers within this theme seek to address the following key objectives by focusing on a series of specific questions.

1. Understand and measure adaptation.

2. Use an evolutionary perspective to explain biodiversity and organismal biology.

3. Determine how abiotic and biotic factors drive evolutionary change.

4. Characterise the effect of human activities on evolutionary change.