UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering


Andrew Pomiankowski

Professor Andrew Pomiankowski is the Head of the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, and Research Strategy Director of CoMPLEX (UCL's Centre for Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology). His research addresses questions around the origin of sexual reproduction and its consequences for eukaryotic evolution. He uses 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, as well as meiotic drive. Recent theoretical work has investigated sex determination and the evolution of gene networks, dosage compensation and sexually antagonistic alleles, genomic imprinting of sex chromosomes, and the contribution of intra-genomic conflicts to the evolution of binary mating types and true sexes.