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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.


January 2022 ― Our two undegraduate students, Charlotte Malcolm and Matina Zafeiri, have completed their Honours projects!

October 2021 ― Another fully-funded PhD position is available in our group - this project will investigate the molecular mechanisms linking parental care to ageing

September 2021 ― We have a fully-funded PhD position available in our group! This project will investigate how burying beetles influence ecosystem processes through their parental behaviours and how this might be affected by environmental change

September 2021 ― A warm welcome to Charlotte Malcolm and Matina Zafeiri who are starting their Honours projects in the lab!

June 2021 ― Check out our special column on sexual selection and environmental change in this month's issue of Current Zoology

May 2021 ― New paper on evolvability under climate change now out in Evolution & Development

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)