Behavioural and Evolutionary Theory Lab


The Behavioural and Evolutionary Theory Lab is an interdisciplinary collection of individuals interested in how and why behaviours evolve. We are interested in behaviours and behavioural mechanisms, and their evolutionary function. We apply a range of theoretical approaches, from mathematics and statistics, decision theory, computer science, and physics. Particular topics of interest are currently the evolution of social behaviour, such as altruism and cooperation, and optimal decision-making mechanisms in groups, such as social insects, and in individuals.

The Lab is part of the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield, and is physically based in the interdisciplinary Kroto Research Institute.

Lab Members

  1. James Marshall - Principal Investigator

  2. Alex Cope - Research Associate

  3. Chelsea Sabo - Research Associate

  4. Ross Booton - PhD Student

  5. Lianne Meah - PhD Student

  6. Alvin Pastore - PhD Student

  7. Angelo Pirrone - PhD Student

  8. Chris Quickfall - PhD Student

  9. Juan Camilo Ramírez - PhD Student

  10. Anna van Doorn - PhD Student

Former Members

  1. Seb James

  2. Tom Cassey

  3. Jennifer Dick

  4. Hector Zenil

  5. Patrick Hogan

  6. Thomas Schlegel

  7. Angélique Favreau-Peigné

  8. Radina Kalpakova

  9. Bob Planqué

  10. Pete Trimmer

About the BET Lab

Photo by Thomas Schlegel

Selected Publications

  1. Marshall, J. A. R. (2015) Social Evolution and Inclusive Fitness Theory: An Introduction. Princeton University Press

  2. Marshall, J. A. R., Trimmer, P. C., Houston, A. I. & McNamara, J. M. (2013) On evolutionary explanations of cognitive biases. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28, 469-473 [PDF]

  3. Seeley, T. D, Visscher, P. K. Schlegel, T., Hogan, P. M., Franks, N. R. & Marshall, J. A. R. (2012) Stop signals provide cross inhibition in collective decision-making by honeybee swarms. Science 335, 108-111 [PDF]

  4. Marshall, J. A. R. & Franks, N. R. (2009) Colony-level cognition. Current Biology 19, R395-R396 [PDF]

Research Funded by (Past and Present)