Evolutionary Biology

To better understand evolution on Earth, it’s no surprise scientists have turned to evolutionary biology to see how the current diversity of life on our planet came to be.

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.

What Is Evolutionary Biology?

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.


Evolutionary Biology News

Read some of the exciting news stories about UAlberta biologists whose work is helping excavate Earth’s evolutionary mysteries.

Study provides framework for 1 billion years of green plant evolution

International consortium of researchers generates gene sequences from more than 1100 plant species


Featured Faculty Projects

Bird

Unraveling the Evolutionary Mystery of Snapping Shrimp

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.


Sneezing Freshwater Sponges

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.


Professor Profile

Heather Proctor standing hunched over with a metal rod collecting samples of freshwater invertebrates from the North Saskatchewan River.

Professor Heather Proctor

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.


UAlberta Evolutionary Biologists

Do you have questions about evolutionary biology? Talk to some of our professors:

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