Kruuk Group - Evolutionary ecology and quantitative genetics

We study how evolution and ecology shape the biological diversity of natural populations. We aim to understand the effects of both genetic and environmental effects on animal life histories. This includes how climate change is affecting wild animal populations today, as well as studies of the genetic basis of quantitative traits, natural and sexual selection, inbreeding depression, senescence, phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects. Most of my work has been on wild vertebrate species, in particular in studies where we have long-term records over several decades of a population, but I've also worked with collaborators on a range of lab, domestic and plant populations.

(Superb fairy-wren photo by Jessica McLachlan @McLachlan_JR)

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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:

Hajduk, Walling, Cockburn, Kruuk (2020). The 'algebra of evolution': the Robertson-Price identity and viability selection for body mass in a wild bird population. Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. B 375:20190359.

Lv, Liu, Osmond, Cockburn, Kruuk (2020). When to start and when to stop: Effects of climate on breeding in a multi-brooded songbird. Global Change Biology 26:443-457.

Siepielski, Morrissey, Carlson, Francis, Kingsolver, Whitney, Kruuk (2019). No evidence that warmer temperatures are associated with selection for smaller body sizes. Proc. Roy. Soc. B 286:20191332.

Froy, Martin, Stopher, Morris, Morris, Clutton-Brock, Pemberton, Kruuk (2019). Consistent within-individual plasticity is sufficient to explain temperature responses in red deer reproductive traits. J. Evolutionary Biology 32:1194-1206.

Bonnet, Morrissey Michael, Clutton-Brock, Pemberton, Kruuk (2019). The role of selection and evolution in changing parturition date in a red deer population. Plos Biology 9:9-15.

Bonnet, Morrissey, Kruuk (2019). Estimation of Genetic Variance in Fitness, and Inference of Adaptation, When Fitness Follows a Log-Normal Distribution. J. Heredity 110:383-395.

Arnold, Nicotra, Kruuk (2019). Sparse evidence for selection on phenotypic plasticity in response to temperature. Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. B 374:20180185.

Henshaw, Jennions, Kruuk (2018). How to quantify (the response to) sexual selection on traits. Evolution 72:1904-1917.

Hayward, Pemberton, Berenos, Wilson, Pilkington, Kruuk (2018). Evidence for Selection-by-Environment but Not Genotype-by-Environment Interactions for Fitness-Related Traits in a Wild Mammal Population. Genetics 208:349-364.

Hajduk, Cockburn, Margraf, Osmond, Walling, Kruuk (2018). Inbreeding, inbreeding depression, and infidelity in a cooperatively breeding bird. Evolution 72:1500-1514.

Cooper, Kruuk (2018). Ageing with a silver-spoon: A meta-analysis of the effect of developmental environment on senescence. Evolution Letters 2:460-471.

Siepielski, et al. (2017). Precipitation drives global variation in natural selection. Science 355:959-+.

Thackeray, et al. (2016). Phenological sensitivity to climate across taxa and trophic levels. Nature 535:241-294.

Huisman, Kruuk, Ellis, Clutton-Brock, Pemberton (2016). Inbreeding depression across the lifespan in a wild mammal population. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 113:3585-3590.

Woolhouse, et al. (2015). Co-infections determine patterns of mortality in a population exposed to parasite infection. Science Advances 1:10.

Kruuk, Osmond, Cockburn (2015). Contrasting effects of climate on juvenile body size in a Southern Hemisphere passerine bird. Global Change Biology 21:2929-2941.

Walling, Morrissey, Foerster, Clutton-Brock, Pemberton, Kruuk (2014). A Multivariate Analysis of Genetic Constraints to Life History Evolution in a Wild Population of Red Deer. Genetics 198:1735-1835.

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




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

Professor Loeske Kruuk awarded Australian Laureate Fellowship

Story | Wednesday 8 July 2020
Professor Kruuk will receive $3.3 million in funding from the ARC to pursue research into the effects of changing environments on wild animal populations.

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.