Stuart West

Research Interests

A central challenge in the social and biological sciences is to explain how cooperation evolves and persists. The problem is that cooperation is vulnerable to exploitation by selfish individuals, (‘cheats’) who do not cooperate, yet still gain the benefit of others cooperating. The student will join a research group examining how cooperation can be favoured, and how it can lead to division of labour. Specific projects can involve across species comparative studies (birds, insects), experiments (bacteria), bioinformatics (bacteria) or theoretical modelling. 

Qualifications and Experience

I have supervised 23 PhD students. Four of these won awards for their thesis work. I teach Evolution and Social Evolution to Undergraduates.I have a PhD in Biology (1997). 

Personal Research Keywords

Altruism, cooperation, communication, conflict, division of labour, signalling