Genetics, Evolution and Environment


Prof Andrew Pomiankowski

Prof Andrew Pomiankowski


Room 111
Darwin Building
Gower Street


  • Professor of Genetics
    Genetics, Evolution & Environment
    Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL


My research addresses questions around the origin of sexual reproduction and its consequences for eukaryotic evolution.

I use theoretical and experimental approaches to study the evolution of female mate preferences for exaggerated male sexual traits used in courtship display. The work is motivated by theory on the handicap principle (female choice of mates with higher phenotypic or genotypic quality) and Fisher’s runaway process (female choice for attractive mates). These ideas are being tested with stalk-eyed flies, and this experimental work is in turn inspiring new theory about the signaling value of sexual traits, sperm competition and fertility, male choice of mating partners, female preference and meiotic drive.

Another branch of work is mainly theoretical and considers how sexual reproduction has arisen and influenced eukaryote evolution. There are many different elements to this work including investigating sex determination and the evolution of gene networks, dosage compensation and sexually antagonistic alleles, genomic imprinting of sex chromosomes, mate choice in micro organisms, the contribution of intra-genomic conflicts, the evolution of binary mating types and true sexes, as well as the evolution of the germ line and early membranes.

Award year Qualification Institution
1987 DPhil
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Sussex
1985 MA
Master of Arts
University of Oxford
1981 BA
Bachelor of Arts
University of Oxford