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predicting the effects of environmental change

from molecules to populations and ecosystems

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.



June 2023  Natalie has joined the Editorial Board of the Journal of Animal Ecology

June 2023 ― Amber presented some preliminary results from her PhD project at EMPSEB 2023 – stay tuned for some very interesting results on the effects of climate change on fertility in aquatic organisms!

May 2023 ― Natalie is featured in the Scientists with Impact interviews series by the Society for Experimental Biology (SEB)

May 2023 ― A warm welcome to Eirini Meligoniti and Claudia Hayward who have joined the lab for their MSc projects

April 2023 We have some big news! The Pilakouta Lab is moving to the University of St Andrews this summer!

March 2023 ― Natalie is co-organising a symposium on "Plasticity in social behaviour under environmental change" for Behaviour 2023 in Bielefield, Germany

February 2023 ― Natalie has joined the Editorial Board of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology

January 2023 ― New paper on the effects of temperature on social behaviour in Global Change Biology (featured on the cover of this month's issue!)

January 2023 ― New paper in Evolution on the predictability of morphological evolution in response to temperature

January 2023  New paper on temperature preferences in geothermal fish populations in Ecology and Evolution

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