UCL Division of Biosciences


Dr Alex Pigot

Research Fellow

Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2016

Research summary

My research seeks to understand the mechanisms underpinning the major patterns observed in biodiversity at large spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales, such as why different places on the surface of the Earth hold different number of species, why diversity varies across the tree of life, and why some species are so rare while others are so common. To do this my research takes two approaches. First, develop new computational and mathematical models to train our intuition of the patterns expected under particular processes and second, apply these models to large empirical datasets on species phylogenetic relationships, geographic distributions, and functional traits to reveal the mechanisms generating these patterns. To date my research has focussed on terrestrial vertebrates, and in particular birds where the wealth of information  vailable on species phylogenetic relationships, traits and geographic distributions, offers enormous opportunities to advance our understanding of how biodiversity is formed and is distributed.  

Teaching summary


I currently convene the Analytical tools module of the MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation and teach courses on modelling species diversity. 


Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
, | 2011
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
, | 2006
University College London
, | 2005


I moved to UCL in October 2018 as a Leverhulme funded PDRA and was appointed a Royal Society Research Fellowship in January 2018. Prior to this I held a VENI fellowship at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands (2013-2016), and a post-doctoral research position in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford (2011-2013).