Evolutionary biology

Investigating how species evolve and adapt to their changing environments

Research in this area examines the evolutionary processes that generate biodiversity. Natural selection is responsible for the differences we see between males and females, it drives speciation, and affects how species adapt to their environments. Through the Centre for Evolutionary Biology, we look at how evolution shapes the form and function of organisms, from the tiniest single celled algae to large, multicellular organisms including humans. The Centre's research specialties include sexual selection, acoustic signalling, animal cognition, predator-prey interactions, visual ecology, sperm form and function, chemical ecology, population genetics, phylogenetic comparative analysis and the genetic mapping of complex traits. Our research is supported by strong partnerships with industry and government organizations such as the WA Museum, DBCA, CSIRO, and DPRID.

Human interference in the natural world, through habitat fragmentation, loss and climate change, continues to cause major environmental perturbations. Building upon our understanding of evolutionary processes, UWA’s multidisciplinary research seeks to understand how anthropogenic disturbance will affect evolutionary change in animals and plants. We also study how directed evolutionary change can be used as a tool to mitigate human impacts on the planet and deliver a more sustainable future.


Centre for Evolutionary Biology

The Centre for Evolutionary Biology is a UWA Centre of Excellence, delivering excellence in research and research training. We adopt a multidisciplinary approach to exploring selective processes acting on the morphological and life-history traits of whole organisms and their gametes.

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 Western Australian Pilbara pebble mouse

Research Projects

View a list of our current PhD research projects and opportunities in Evolutionary Biology here.


Featured course

Contact the School of Biological Sciences

For more information, contact Professor Leigh Simmons.

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