Professor Alan Grafen FRS

Alan Grafen

Professor of Theoretical Biology, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

Alan Grafen is distinguished for mathematical and conceptual contributions to behavioural ecology. He introduced 'split sex ratios', now a quantitatively exact area of empirical research. He successfully modelled Zahavi's handicap principle, allowing a new and productive understanding of how signals can function in nature. Grafen's style of modelling represents organisms as sophisticated actors, allowing the hypotheses and intuitions of empirical biologists to be represented in precise, mathematical form, including general foundational questions about fitness and its optimisation. A rederivation of inclusive fitness, and a general construction of Fisher's reproductive value, are recent examples. Advanced abstract mathematics is used where required.


Our mission

To recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

Our priorities

  • Promoting science and its benefits
  • Recognising excellence in science
  • Supporting outstanding science
  • Providing scientific advice for policy
  • Fostering international and global cooperation
  • Education and public engagement