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integrative animal behaviour

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.


September 2022 ― Welcome to Amber Chatten who is joining the lab as a PhD student to study the effects of environmental change on marine populations!

September 2022 ― This term we welcome five undergraduate students (Alice Ligonniere, Emma Cassellis, Lorelei Sellers, Rebecca Barratt, and Shannon Harvey) joining the lab for their Honours projects!


July 2022 ― Natalie contributed to an article in The Guardian on the effects of heatwaves on wildlife

July 2022 ― Check out our new paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology on the effects of temperature on mating patterns (featured on the journal cover!)

June 2022 ― A warm welcome to Veronika Ljungberg and Zoe Wright who are joining us as field assistants this summer

May 2022 ― Karendeep presented her results on the effects of heatwaves on parental care at EMPSEB in Espoo, Finland!