Ord Lab    
Behaviour and Evolution
UNSW | Sydney, Australia


Our research focuses on how evolution operates in nature, what drives diversity over evolutionary and ecological timescales, and why species live where they do. Much of what we do centres on trying to understand the interaction of stochastic and deterministic processes, in both evolution and ecology. For example, we investigate:

- How novel adaptations originate

- How evolutionary history and present-day selection shape adaptation

- Role of predation and competition in adaptive evolution and community formation

- When plasticity buffers or facilitates adaptive evolution and biological invasions

- How morphology and physiology shape animal behaviour

- Ways in which animals communicate, compete and choose mates

- Origin and “function” of animal play

Study systems are selected based on the conceptual question being addressed and include Caribbean anole lizards, Southeast Asian gliding lizards, amphibious fish, ants, kangaroos and experimental habitat islands. This takes us to the Caribbean, Malaysia, Philippines, remote Pacific and Indian Ocean islands, and outback NSW.