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On this page, you’ll find information about evolutionary biology as a discipline, what University of Alberta biologists are researching, and the effect their work has.
Evolutionary biology is a branch of biology where scientists examine the evolutionary processes (natural selection, common descent, and speciation) that led to the current biodiversity of organisms on our planet.
It is speculated that the current population of organisms can trace their heritage back to a single common ancestor (often referred to as the last universal common ancestor or LUCA), and evolutionary biologists use this theory as a framework for much of their research.
Read some of the exciting news stories about UAlberta biologists whose work is helping excavate Earth’s evolutionary mysteries.
International consortium of researchers generates gene sequences from more than 1100 plant species
March 6, 2018
Biogeochemist Maya Bhatia takes a close look at the tiny life forms with the biggest impact
March 22, 2018
New research reveals how too much sediment in water prevents the creatures from serving their vital environmental purpose.
January 29, 2018
Massive international study identifies concerns for various ecosystem functions.
June 14, 2017
New UAlberta research shows elk get wise to the benefits of being gun shy
June 13, 2017
Study shows brains of social fish species are different than their not-so-social counterparts, draws links to humans
March 13, 2017
Researchers trace bison to common ancestor, pinpoint arrival in North America.
February 23, 2017
Research shows secondary seed dispersal by predator animals is important for recolonization of plants
November 29, 2016
Finely tuned to their environment, sponges replace their cells daily, new study demonstrates.
June 8, 2016
DNA analysis rewrites the story of thinhorn sheep during the last ice age.
June 6, 2016
New evidence found in bison fossils gives clues to human and animal movement in Alberta during the last ice age.
Read about Richard Palmer (Biological Sciences) and the discoveries he and a team of talented researchers made to solve the evolutionary mystery of how snapping shrimp break water and snap.
Did you know sponges could sneeze? Check out this video of Danielle Ludeman (Biological Sciences) who researched how sponges sneeze without having a nervous system.
Read about Heather Proctor (Professor of Biology) and how the location of the University of Alberta’s North Campus in Edmonton’s River Valley helped reinforce her love of nature.
Do you have questions about evolutionary biology? Talk to some of our professors:
David Coltman's Research Focus: maintenance and adaptive significance of genetic variation in the wild, evolutionary quantitative genetics of fitness-related traits in bighorn sheep, paternity analysis and heritability of behaviour in mountain goats, deer population structure, and molecular ecology of invasive species
Heather Proctor's Research Focus: ecology, evolution, systematics, and behaviour of mites
Jocelyn Hall's Research Focus: phylogenetic analysis and systematics of flowers, evolution of floral form, development evolutionary biology, evolution of fruit morphology, and field and herbarium studies of tropical plants
Kimberley Mathot's Research Focus: mathematical biology, causes and consequences of behavioural variation, behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, physiology, and quantitative genetics
Richard Palmer's Research Focus: comparative and experimental studies of biological asymmetries, developmental plasticity, and evolution of marine invertebrates
Sally Leys' Research Focus: Focus: evolution of the first metazoan body plans
Find a Professor
Are you interested in studying evolutionary biology? Find out how you can start your academic career with the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology Program in the Faculty of Science.
Are you interested in graduate studies in biological sciences?
Use the Find a Supervisor web app to help you locate a supervisor looking for grad students based on your area of interest.
If you’re unsure of where you should pursue graduate studies in biological sciences, look no further. The University of Alberta has everything you need and want in a grad program.
Click on the video above for more information.
As a research institution, the University of Alberta boasts many collections, museums, and facilities to help enhance the education of our students. Check out all of the resources related to evolutionary biology we have to offer in the links below.
Help advance the University of Alberta’s efforts in evolutionary biology.
Looking for expert comment?
Contact Jennifer Pascoe, Director of Communications & Engagement at: