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Research Fellows Directory

Ashleigh Griffin

Dr Ashleigh Griffin

Research Fellow


University of Oxford

Research summary

I am interested in the evolution of cooperative behaviour because it poses a special problem for evolutionary theory - how can selection favour a behaviour that reduces reproductive success? The question is important, not just so we can gain an insight into striking examples such as colonies of social insects or meerkat groups, but because it is fundamental to understanding life as we know it: the evolution of the genome, the eukaryotic cell and multicellular organisms.

My main focus has been the use of the bacterial system Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as an experimental system for testing predictions of social evolution theory.

My current projects fall into two main categories:

(1) The application of social evolution theory to understand clinical problems of bacterial infection.

(2) The use of meta-analysis to test predictions of social evolution theory in patterns across species, primarily cooperatively breeding birds.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Social Evolution and Social Engineering

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2014 - Sep 2017

Value: £314,236.19

Cooperative breeding in nature: from microbes to meerkats

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2009 - Sep 2014

Value: £584,985.94

Explaining the evolution of cooperative behaviour

Scheme: Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2005 - Sep 2009

Value: £152,312.96