Sustainability database


Computational and Evolutionary Biology

We are a department-sized grouping of researchers in Life Sciences who use a wide range of techniques from computational to whole organism experimental approaches in our pursuit of understanding biological systems. A main theme of our research is the use of an evolutionary perspective to inform and predict the behaviour of biological systems.

Research group



Dr Jenny Rowntree

I am an evolutionary ecologist and am interested in the role and maintenance of biodiversity, both within and among species and the provision of ecosystem services. Around campus, I have an interest in urban ecology and conduct research on plant-pollinator interactions in urban environments and the assessment and importance of urban biodiversity.

Biodiversity, Urban ecology, Species interactions, ecosystem services, Applied research, Conservation, Engagement


Prof Matthew Cobb

My laboratory studies how the sense of smell works. To do this we use a rather unusual animal - a maggot. You and I have about 4 million smell cells in our noses. A maggot has just 21, and by using genetics we can make a maggot with just a single smell cell in its nose. By studying the behaviour of these animals, and the electrical activity of their smell cells, we can understand how smells are processed in the nose and in the brain. Not only does a maggot have a brain, the bits of its brain that process smells are wired up just like ours.

Behaviour, Genetics, Smell, Health, Chemicals, Biology, History, Education, Biodiversity, Education for Sustainable Development


Dr Jonathan Codd

Jonathan Codd is currently a Senior Lecturer in Integrative Vertebrate Biology and member of the Computational and Evolutionary Biology research grouping within the Faculty of Life Sciences. His research has focussed on functional constraints during breathing and locomotion in mammals and birds.

Animals, Biology, Health, Sustainability, Teaching, Education


Dr Catherine Walton

Research on mosquito vectors of disease can have important applications to the control of diseases such as malaria and dengue. Population genetic studies of mosquitoes can also increase our fundamental understanding of interpreting genetic diversity in terms of random genetic drift, population history, selection and barriers to gene flow both within and between species. These research interests extend to encompass molecular evolution, conservation genetics and biodiversity in Southeast Asia.

Evolution, Chemistry, Ecology, Genetics, Biology, Sustainability, Teaching, Education


Prof Richard Preziosi

One of the University's growing number of Sustainability Enthusiasts. Find out more about the initiative here.

I have a strong interest in conservation biology and field course teaching and I have taught on field courses for over 10 years. Much of my field work is done in the neotropics as part of conservation and development projects. I am a certified Senior Ecologist (ESA) and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

Sustainability enthusiast, Workplace engagement, Engagement, Genetics, Biology, Trees, Biodiversity, Water, External engagement, Community, Conservation, Environment, Fieldwork, Teaching, Education, Development, Sustainability


Dr Keith White

I am interested in understanding and managing the water quality and ecology of urban watercourses, including preventing the formation of potentially harmful ‘blooms’ of blue-green algae. Work with an industrial partner is examining the relationship between past and present water quality and the changes in the ecology of Salford Quays – a restored and redeveloped dock system near Media City, Greater Manchester.

Metals, Water, Pollution, Waste, Mining, Ecology, Environment, Plants, Biology, Animals, Sustainability, Teaching, Education