Dr Chris Cooney

Email: c.cooney@sheffield.ac.uk


I completed my BSc in Biology at the University of York before joining the Edward Grey Institute of Ornithology at Oxford as a DPhil student working under the supervision of Nathalie Seddon and Joe Tobias. In August 2014 I moved to the University of Sheffield as a postdoctoral researcher working in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences with Gavin Thomas.

Research activities

The natural world consists of a vast array of forms and the overall aim of my research is to understand the processes responsible for the production of biological diversity. During my PhD I investigated the causes of evolutionary radiations in birds across broad phylogenetic and spatial scales, with particular focus on the role of sexual selection in speciation and species coexistence. With Gavin Thomas I am now extending this work by directly examining the interplay between phenotypic evolution, species diversification and the build of sympatric diversity, with specific emphasis on the potentially dissimilar roles played by ecological and sexual traits.




Horváthová, T.*, C. R. Cooney*, P. S. Fitze, T. A. Oksanen, D. Jelić, I. Ghira, T. Uller, and D. Jandzik. 2013. Length of activity season drives geographic variation in body size of a widely distributed lizard. Ecology and Evolution 3:2424-2442. (* equal contribution)

Salisbury, C. L., N. Seddon, C. R. Cooney, and J. A. Tobias. 2012. The latitudinal gradient in dispersal constraints: ecological specialisation drives diversification in tropical birds. Ecology Letters 15:847-855.


My recent talk at the Evolution 2015 conference: