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integrative animal behaviour

from molecules to populations

about the lab

Our research group, led by Dr Natalie Pilakouta, is based at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. Two major themes in our research are (i) how environmental change may alter animal behaviour and (ii) whether such changes in animal behaviour influence the capacity of populations to adapt to environmental change.


We mainly use insect and fish study systems to address fundamental questions in ecology and evolutionary biology, as well as more applied issues relevant to management and conservation. Our research integrates behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, ecophysiology, and developmental biology. We use a wide range of approaches including experimental evolution, field-based studies, molecular biology techniques, theoretical modeling, and meta-analytic methods. If you are interested in joining the lab, click here for more information and any open positions.


April 2021 ― Natalie has been awarded a Royal Society research grant to study the effects of temperature changes on behavioural interactions

March 2021 ― Hot off the press! Our editorial entitled "Sexual selection and environmental change: what do we know and what comes next?" is now out in Current Zoology

March 2021 ― Natalie gave a plenary talk at the European Meeting for PhD Students in Evolutionary Biology (EMPSEB)

January 2021 ― Congrats to Nikki and Charlotte for completing their Honours projects - stay tuned for some very exciting results from this work!

December 2020 ― Natalie gave two (virtual) talks at the ASAB Winter Meeting and the BES Annual Meeting

November 2020 ― Fully-funded PhD position available in our research group! This PhD project is on parental care and ageing in burying beetles, and the application deadline is 6 January 2021

November 2020 ― Natalie gave an invited talk at Uppsala University's seminar series

October 2020 ― Natalie has joined the Functional Ecology Editorial Board as an Associate Editor!

October 2020 ― A warm welcome to Karendeep Sidhu, who has just joined the lab as a QUADRAT PhD student! She will be studying sexual selection under climate change using a combination of experimental, theoretical, and meta-analytic approaches