Research course

Evolutionary Analysis

University of Glasgow · College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
PhDIntegrated PhDMS by research

Entry requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

We address a broad range of fundamental and applied evolutionary problems via the identification and analysis of genetic and phenotypic variability underlying biodiversity at all taxonomic levels, from viruses to vertebrates.

Within evolutionary analysis, our specific areas of interest include the basis of adaptation to changing biotic and abiotic environments, the process and underlying mechanisms of speciation, the role of mating systems, host-parasite interactions, and the linkage among ecological and evolutionary processes. Frequently, this work requires the integration of genetic information with other types of data (e.g. phenotypic, geographic, demographic); developing novel bioinformatic tools and approaches to achieve this integration therefore represents another research focus.

Due to evolutionary principles being fundamental to all aspects of biology, our research activities are naturally linked with those of other research themes within the institute and throughout the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, with particular ties to the Glasgow Polyomics Facility, the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (SCENE), and the Centre for Virus Research.

Individual research projects are tailored around the expertise of principal investigators within the institutes. A variety of approaches are used, including ecology, epidemiology, mathematical, computational and statistical modelling, bioinformatics, parasitology, immunology and polyomics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics). Basic and applied science projects are available for study, as are field-based projects with research programs underway in both the UK and overseas.

Specific areas of interest include:

  • host/parasite interactions and coevolution
  • evolutionary arms races between parasitic trypanosomes and their hosts
  • molecular ecology and evolution in infectious diseases of wild and domestic animals
  • behavioural ecology of fish
  • influence of genomic, ecological and environmental factors on emergence of new species
  • viral and bacterial population genomics
  • antimicrobial and anthelminthic resistance
  • evolution of viviparity in animals
  • physiology and behavioural ecology of marine and freshwater fishes
  • physiology and behavioural ecology of birds in urban and rural environments
  • evolutionary implications of daily rhythms, life-cycle timing and seasonal movements
  • phylodynamics of multi-host pathogens
  • life-history evolution, resource allocation, sexual selection and community ecology
  • evolution of resistance
  • evolutionary and conservation genetics
  • evolutionary developmental biology
  • gene family evolution, polyploidy, and mating systems
  • interaction between parasites, African trypanosomes and their hosts
  • organism response to their environment, both natural and captivity
  • attack and Escape Strategies in Aquatic Predator-Prey Interactions
  • phyloinformatics, biodiversity informatics, biological data visualisation
  • genetic and developmental basis of craniofacial shape in fish
  • role of divergent natural selection for determining phenotypes
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • mathematical, computational and statistical analysis of biological datasets, particularly those of pathogens and vaccines
  • ecological genomics and adaptive divergence in animals and plants

Information for international students

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no sub-test under 6.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Integrated PhD
    full time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MS by research
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details