UCL Division of Biosciences

Prof Julia Day

Prof Julia Day

Professor of Zoology

Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Jun 2006

Research summary

Evolutionary Biology

The Day lab is interested in investigating patterns and processes of diversification leading to the build-up of diversity at local and regional scales. We are particularly interested in studying comparative systems in order to better understand whether there are common factors that have promoted elevated levels of species richness and how this biodiversity is maintained. We have focused on different animal groups, with an emphasis on African freshwater fishes. With our strong interests in evolutionary biology we are members of Centre for Life’s Origins (CLOE) at UCL. 

Biodiversity Research

We are also interested in biodiversity status and trends, and are members of the Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology (CBER) at UCL. Environmental (e)DNA metabarcoding is still in its infancy, but holds the potential to greatly enhance our ability to both monitor and understand the ecology of aquatic ecosystems. We have several projects harnessing this tool - from monitoring species-rich fish communities in tropical African lakes, to detecting endangered amphibians in Central America. With our long-standing interests in African biodiversity, our lab has also recently been investigating human impacts on several key ecosystems, including Lake Tanganyika, and The Taita Hills, in East Africa. 

For more details about our research please visit the website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucbtjjd/Site/home.html

Teaching summary

Julia teaches the module Animal Biodiversity, which is available to second year undergraduates with interests in animal biology, evolution and systematics. She also provides lectures on the first year module Life on Earth and a module Vertebrate Evolution on the M.Sci. degree program. 

Her lab welcomes research students from both the M.Sci. program  and the MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation (BEC).


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2000
University of Bristol
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1995


Julia has interests in evolutionary biology, systematics and biodiversity. Her Ph.D. was joint with UCL and The Natural History Museum, London, where she remains a Scientific Associate. She has been awarded two independent fellowships from the EU and the Royal Society, and has previously worked at the University of Cambridge, Konstanz University and Imperial College, before re-joining UCL.