Reptilian Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology Lab

Welcome to a world of Evolutionary Biology!

About us

Our lab focuses on integrating behaviour, genetics and physiology using molecular tools and field biology to study as complete scenarios of trait evolution (such as colour signals) as possible. We try our hardest to identify the appropriate model system necessary for a seamless project outline taking us from exciting field projects, where ongoing selection can be studied in free-ranging animals, to the explicit deciphering of molecular and biochemical mechanisms in the laboratory. In most cases, this has led us to using reptiles and amphibians as model systems.

Tongue in cheek, picking the right study animal is central to all successful research in biology. That choice should be based on careful scrutiny of species-specific pros and cons; for example, if you don’t like to get to know your animals long-term in the wild, and having the extra bonus of outdoor experiences, you should probably pick an insect (great for indoor ‘Tupperware’ biology). If you enjoy getting up at 3 am to put up a mist net, whether it’s above freezing and raining horizontally or not, and in every 74th catch get the animal you are looking for – pick a bird. If you could not care less about the cool sounds at a frog pond, pick a fish. However, if you like catching large numbers of animals, that can be easily marked, recaptured, brought into the lab for mating experiments, be analysed in terms of real time evolution in the wild, be repainted to understand their cool signals, have their sounds played back at them to understand the trade-off between mate choice and predation, and having their gametes handed over at the flick of a hormonal switch to generate every conceivable quantitative genetics analysis in a petri dish, then pick a reptile or amphibian. 

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