Evolution and Genetics of Life, Love and Death

We combine ideas and techniques from the fields of evolutionary biology and quantitative genetics to obtain a better understanding of the evolutionary processes responsible for the generation and maintenance of the ubiquitous levels of diversity we see around us, both among individuals and populations. We are particularly interested in variation in traits that are related to the most important events in an individual's life, namely birth, mate choice, reproduction and death. Taking a highly pragmatic approach to the choice of study species, including both birds, rodents, insects and humans, we try to disentangle the relative role of genes and the environment in shaping this variation, as well as to quantify the strength and shape of selection acting upon it.

Head of group: Dr. Erik Postma

Research themes

  • The quantitative genetic basis of fitness-related traits
  • Inbreeding depression
  • The interplay between inbreeding, heterozygosity and fitness
  • Human life-history evolution
  • The evolutionary genetics of dispersal

For more information, please visit http://www.erikpostma.net