Professor Dolph Schluter FRS

Dolph Schluter is an evolutionary biologist who studies adaptive radiation — the evolution of ecological diversity in groups of organisms that are multiplying rapidly. Dolph’s research suggests that ecologically induced adaptation can result in the evolution of new species. He has worked on Darwin’s finches and helped to develop the three-spined stickleback as an experimental model for studies of adaptive radiation.

Dolph and his team investigate the ecological forces that drive the rapid origin of new species and allow them to persist, the genetic basis of species differences, and the wider ecological impacts of adaptive radiation.

His studies of sticklebacks and other species have allowed Dolph to build a model of a process that he terms ecological speciation, in which adaptation to different environments generates new species. He is the author of The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation (2000) and The Analysis of Biological Data (second edition, 2015).

Professional position

  • University Killam Professor, Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology



  • Darwin Medal

    For major and fundamental contributions to the understanding of the how species originate, adaptive radiations develop, and geographical patterns of biodiversity emerge and are maintained.

Professor Dolph Schluter FRS
Elected 1999