Kruuk Group - Evolutionary ecology and quantitative genetics

Our research aims to understand how natural selection and evolution work to shape the biological diversity of natural populations. My research interests include the effect of climate change on evolutionary and ecological processes in the wild, quantitative genetics, natural and sexual selection, inbreeding depression, senescence, sexually-antagonistic effects, phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects. Most of my work has been on wild vertebrate populations - in particular, where we have long-term records over several decades of a study population - but I've also worked with collaborators on a range of lab, domestic and plant populations.

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Book: Charmantier, A., D. Garant, and L. E. B. Kruuk, editors. 2014. Quantitative Genetics in the Wild. Oxford University Press, Oxford.


Recent papers:

Thackeray, S. J. et al. (2016) ) Phenological sensitivity to climate across taxa and trophic levels. Nature 

Huisman, J., L. E. B. Kruuk, P. A. Ellis, T. Clutton-Brock, and J. M. Pemberton. 2016. Inbreeding depression across the lifespan in a wild mammal population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113:3585-3590.

Pavitt, A.T., JM Pemberton, LEB Kruuk, CA Walling. 2016. Testosterone and cortisol concentrations vary with reproductive status in wild female red deer. Ecology and Evolution 6 (4), 1163-1172.

Kruuk, L. E. B., J. Livingston, A. Kahn, and M. D. Jennions. 2015a. Sex-specific maternal effects in a viviparous fish. Biology Letters 11:20150472.

Kruuk, L. E. B., H. L. Osmond, and A. Cockburn. 2015b. Contrasting effects of climate on juvenile body size in a Southern Hemisphere passerine bird. Global Change Biology 21:2929-2941.

Roche, D. G., L. E. B. Kruuk, R. Lanfear, and S. A. Binning. 2015. Public Data Archiving in Ecology and Evolution: How Well Are We Doing? Plos Biology 13:12.

Callaby, R., O. Hanotte, I. C. Van Wyk, H. Kiara, P. Toye, M. N. Mbole-Kariuki, A. Jennings, S. M. Thumbi, J. A. W. Coetzer, B. M. d. C. Bronsvoort, S. A. Knott, M. E. J. Woolhouse, and L. E. B. Kruuk. 2015. Variation and covariation in strongyle infection in East African shorthorn zebu calves. Parasitology 142:499-511.

Pavitt, A. T., C. A. Walling, E. Moestl, J. M. Pemberton, and L. E. B. Kruuk. 2015. Cortisol but not testosterone is repeatable and varies with reproductive effort in wild red deer stags. General and Comparative Endocrinology DOI 0.1016/j.ygcen.2015.07.009.

Woolhouse, M. E., S. M. Thumbi, A. Jennings, M. Chase-Topping, R. Callaby, H. Kiara, M. C. Oosthuizen, M. N. Mbole-Kariuki, I. Conradie, I. G. Handel, L. E. B. Kruuk, B. M. d. C. Bronsvoort, O. Hanotte, J. A. W. Coetzer, and P. Toye. 2015. Co-infections determine patterns of mortality in a population exposed to parasite infection. Science Advances 1:e1400026.

Kruuk, L. E. B., T. Clutton-Brock, and J. M. Pemberton. 2014a. Quantitative genetics and sexual selection of weaponry in a wild ungulate. Pages 160-176 in A. Charmantier, D. Garant, and L. E. B. Kruuk, editors. Quantitative genetics in the wild. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Kruuk, L. E. B., D. Garant, and A. Charmantier. 2014b. The study of quantitative genetics in wild populations. Pages 1-15  in A. Charmantier, D. Garant, and L. E. B. Kruuk, editors. Quantitative genetics in the wild. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Pavitt, A. T., C. A. Walling, A. S. McNeilly, J. M. Pemberton, and L. E. B. Kruuk. 2014a. Variation in early life testosterone within a wild population of red deer. Functional Ecology 28:1224-1334.

Pavitt, A. T., C. A. Walling, J. M. Pemberton, and L. E. B. Kruuk. 2014b. Heritability and cross-sex genetic correlations of early life circulating testosterone levels in a wild mammal. Biology Letters 10:20140685.

Roche, D. G., R. Lanfear, S. A. Binning, T. M. Haff, L. E. Schwanz, K. E. Cain, H. Kokko, M. D. Jennions, and L. E. B. Kruuk. 2014. Troubleshooting Public Data Archiving: Suggestions to Increase Participation. PLoS Biology 12:1-5.

Stopher, K. V., A. I. Bento, T. H. Clutton-Brock, J. M. Pemberton, and L. E. B. Kruuk. 2014. Multiple pathways mediate effects of climate change on maternal reproductive traits in a wild mammal population. Ecology 95:3124–3138.

Walling, C. A., M. B. Morrissey, K. Foerster, J. M. Pemberton, T. H. Clutton-Brock, and L. E. B. Kruuk. 2014. A multivariate analysis of genetic constraints to life history evolution in a wild population of red deer Genetics 198:1735-1749.


Ecophysiological responses to climate change in a cold-adapted specialist, the Common lizard

Event | Tue 10 September 2019

In a changing world, species must constantly cope with predictable and unpredictable environments.

Individual and combined effects of global change drivers on biodiversity

Event | Thu 2 May 2019

All across the world, species’ populations and the biodiversity of ecological communities are changing in complex ways.

What is condition? (And who cares?)

Event | Tue 6 March 2018

Condition has been a central concept in evolutionary ecology for decades, but recent discoveries challenge our understanding of the nature of condi

Animal coloration and beyond: delving into the near-infrared

Event | Tue 27 February 2018

The adaptive significance of animal coloration is clear: it matters for survival (camouflage, warning coloration, mimicry) and it matters for repro

Red deer evolving to give birth earlier in warmer climate

Story | Thursday 7 November 2019
Red deer on a Scottish island are providing scientists with some of the first evidence that wild animals are evolving to give birth earlier in the year as the climate warms.
Fairy wren

Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change

Story | Tuesday 15 October 2019
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia’s most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

Are our wild animals growing old gracefully?

Story | Monday 20 August 2018
How does the impact of the early-life environment affect the ageing process?

Future Fellowships awarded to ANU big thinkers

Story | Wednesday 16 December 2015
The Australian National University (ANU) has secured five prestigious Future Fellowships, two of which have been awarded to researchers in the Research School of Biology.

ARC Discovery projects and DECRA fellowships

Story | Monday 17 November 2014