Insect Behavioural Ecology

We study the evolution and ecology of insect behaviour, particularly sexual and reproductive behaviour.

Shuker and Simmons 2014

We are interested in how natural and sexual selection interact to shape behavioural diversity across insects. In particular, we consider how conflicting processes of selection resolve themselves into the patterns of phenotypic evolution we see around us. Our research uses theory-led whole-organism and genetic approaches, in the lab and the field, to try and understand phenotypic evolution and its ecological context.

Current research questions include:

(1) The role of cryptic post-copulatory sexual selection in insects, with a special interest in the under-appreciated role of cryptic male choice.

(2) How multiple environmental stressors shape mating systems and sexual selection.

(3) The ecological causes and consequences of sibling cannibalism.

(4) The importance of endurance rivalry as a mechanism of sexual selection.

In addition, David is developing new collaborations looking at how evolutionary biology – both historically and today – has been shaped by literary and other artistic representations of animals and evolutionary patterns, and the interplay between science, society, and art.

If these are the sorts of questions that interest you, for the latest news on available post-doc positions, PhD studentships, and undergraduate research experience, please see our opportunities page or email me at:

[email protected]

Dr David Shuker
Harold Mitchell Building
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9TH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1334 463376
Fax: +44 (0)1334 463366