Welcome to the evolution research site of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. Our lab groups have wide interests in evolutionary biology with major research themes including: the evolutionary genetics of speciation and hybridisation, genomics and social behaviour, and spatial modelling of genes and individuals. Our study species range from mammals (bats, cetaceans, molerats, humans) to insects (fireants, grasshoppers) to plants (ash tree, birch trees, tobacco, orchids).

We run two Masters programmes that are informed by our research. The MSc in Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics is a pioneering new course that we have designed to provide good candidates for PhD projects that involve skills in both biology and bioinformatics. Our MSc in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology provides a more general training in ecology and evolution.

QMUL is a member of the ‘London NERC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP)’, funded in 2013. Thirty-four new studentship places will open for application in December 2014. More information on PhD project topics available with us can be found here. Potential candidates are strongly encouraged to contact their prospective supervisor well in advance of next year’s deadline (probably January 2015).

The following research topics are likely to be available for both MSc and PhD students:

Evolutionary genetics themed

  • Comparative socio-genomics in African mole-rats
  • Evolutionary genomics in ants
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus selection on genome size in the British flora
  • The role of epigenetics in the evolution of giant genomes
  • Impact of rainforest modification on predator-prey interactions: a molecular ecological approach
  • The genomic basis of ash dieback tolerance
  • Using genomics to unravel food web

Ecology themed

  • Evolution in predictive models of the ecological impacts of climate change
  • From Jack the Ripper to invasion biology: integrating GIS approaches with geographic profiling
  • Habitat use and the consequences of variable environments on the endangered loggerhead sea turtles
  • Mechanistic understanding of ecosystem stability in response to climate warming and biodiversity loss
  • The wider ecological importance of chemosynthetic carbon in river food webs
  • Trait-Based Approaches to Predict Responses of Marine Organisms to a Changing Climate
  • Trophic ecology of jellyfish

Major equipment success

SBCS were recently awarded £284,000 from NERC to buy the new Irys System from Bionano Genomics. This should help us to assemble the genomes of a multitude of interesting species, from bats to ants to the ash tree, and everything in between!