Biography

My research interests lie in the study of social evolution and in the conservation ecology and genetics of social insects. I obtained my B.A. in Zoology from the University of Cambridge in 1983 and my Ph.D. from the University of Bath in 1987. After a Junior Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, I moved to the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, in 1992. At the Institute of Zoology, I was first a Research Fellow, then a Senior Research Fellow, then (from 2003) a Reader. In 2006, I came to UEA as Professor of Evolutionary Biology. I was an Editor, then Editor-in-Chief, of the journal 'Behavioral Ecology' from 2000 to 2006. As well as research papers, review articles and book chapters, I have authored or coauthored two books, 'Social Evolution in Ants' (with Nigel Franks, 1995, Princeton University Press) and 'Principles of Social Evolution' (2011, Oxford University Press).

Website: http://www.andrewbourkeresearch.com

Career History

 

  • 2006 - present: Professor of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, UEA
  • 2003 - 2006: Reader, Institute of Zoology (IoZ), Zoological Society of London (ZSL)
  • 1992 - 2002: Research Fellow then Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, ZSL
  • 1988 - 1991: Junior Research Fellow (Jesus College), Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
  • 1983 - 1987: Ph.D., School of Biological Sciences, University of Bath
  • 1980 - 1983: B.A. (Hons) Zoology, University of Cambridge

 


ResearcherID

http://www.researcherid.com/rid/E-5271-2011

 

All Publications

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Blacher, P., Huggins, T. J., Bourke, A. F. G.

(2017)

Evolution of ageing, costs of reproduction and the fecundity-longevity trade-off in eusocial insects,

in Proceedings of the Royal Society B

284

(1858)

article no. 20170380

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Collins, D. H., Mohorianu, I., Beckers, M., Moulton, V., Dalmay, T., Bourke, A. F. G.

(2017)

MicroRNAs Associated with Caste Determination and Differentiation in a Primitively Eusocial Insect,

in Scientific Reports

7

article no. 45674

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Carvell, C., Bourke, A. F. G., Dreier, S., Freeman, S. N., Sarah, H., Jordan, W. C., Redhead, J. W., Sumner, S., Wang, J., Heard, M. S.

(2017)

Bumblebee family lineage survival is enhanced in high quality landscapes,

in Nature

543

(7646)

pp. 547–549

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lockett, G. A., Almond, E. J., Huggins, T. J., Parker, J. D., Bourke, A. F. G.

(2016)

Gene expression differences in relation to age and social environment in queen and worker bumble bees,

in Experimental Gerontology

77

pp. 52–61

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Redhead, J. W., Dreier, S., Bourke, A. F. G., Heard, M. S., Jordan, W. C., Sumner, S., Wang, J., Carvell, C.

(2016)

Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumblebee species,

in Ecological Applications

26

(3)

pp. 726-739

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bourke, A. F. G.

(2015)

Sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera support inclusive fitness theory,

in Journal of Evolutionary Biology

28

(11)

pp. 2106-2111

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Holland, J. G., Bourke, A. F. G.

(2015)

Colony and individual life-history responses to temperature in a social insect pollinator,

in Functional Ecology

29

(9)

pp. 1209-1217

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Carvell, C., Bourke, A. F. G., Osborne, J. L., Heard, M. S.

(2015)

Effects of an agri-environment scheme on bumblebee reproduction at local and landscape scales,

in Basic and Applied Ecology

16

(6)

pp. 519-530

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Sadd, B. M., Barribeau, S. M., Bloch, G., De Graaf, D. C., Dearden, P., Elsik, C. G., Gadau, J., Grimmelikhuijzen, C. J., Hasselmann, M., Lozier, J. D., Robertson, H. M., Smagghe, G., Stolle, E., Van Vaerenbergh, M., Waterhouse, R. M., Bornberg-bauer, E., Klasberg, S., Bennett, A. K., Câmara, F., Guigó, R., Hoff, K., Mariotti, M., Munoz-torres, M., Murphy, T., Santesmasses, D., Amdam, G. V., Beckers, M., Beye, M., Biewer, M., Bitondi, M. M., Blaxter, M. L., Bourke, A. F., Brown, M. J., Buechel, S. D., Cameron, R., Cappelle, K., Carolan, J. C., Christiaens, O., Ciborowski, K. L., Clarke, D. F., Colgan, T. J., Collins, D. H., Cridge, A. G., Dalmay, T., Dreier, S., Du Plessis, L., Duncan, E., Erler, S., Evans, J., Falcon, T., Flores, K., Freitas, F. C., Fuchikawa, T., Gempe, T., Hartfelder, K., Hauser, F., Helbing, S., Humann, F. C., Irvine, F., Jermiin, L. S., Johnson, C. E., Johnson, R. M., Jones, A. K., Kadowaki, T., Kidner, J. H., Koch, V., Köhler, A., Kraus, F. B., Lattorff, H. M. G., Leask, M., Lockett, G. A., Mallon, E. B., Antonio, D. S. M., Marxer, M., Meeus, I., Moritz, R. F., Nair, A., Näpflin, K., Nissen, I., Niu, J., Nunes, F. M., Oakeshott, J. G., Osborne, A., Otte, M., Pinheiro, D. G., Rossié, N., Rueppell, O., Santos, C. G., Schmid-hempel, R., Schmitt, B. D., Schulte, C., Simões, Z. L., Soares, M. P., Swevers, L., Winnebeck, E. C., Wolschin, F., Yu, N., Zdobnov, E. M., Aqrawi, P. K., Blankenburg, K. P., Coyle, M., Francisco, L., Hernandez, A. G., Holder, M., Hudson, M. E., Jackson, L., Jayaseelan, J., Joshi, V., Kovar, C., Lee, S. L., Mata, R., Mathew, T., Newsham, I. F., Ngo, R., Okwuonu, G., Pham, C., Pu, L., Saada, N., Santibanez, J., Simmons, D., Thornton, R., Venkat, A., Walden, K. K., Wu, Y., Debyser, G., Devreese, B., Asher, C., Blommaert, J., Chipman, A. D., Chittka, L., Fouks, B., Liu, J., O’neill, M. P., Sumner, S., Puiu, D., Qu, J., Salzberg, S. L., Scherer, S. E., Muzny, D. M., Richards, S., Robinson, G. E., Gibbs, R. A., Schmid-hempel, P., Worley, K. C.

(2015)

The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization,

in Genome Biology

16

article no. 76

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Friend, L. A., Bourke, A. F. G.

(2014)

Workers respond to unequal likelihood of future reproductive opportunities in an ant,

in Animal Behaviour

97

pp. 165-176

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Crowther, L. P., Hein, P., Bourke, A. F. G.

(2014)

Habitat and forage associations of a naturally colonising insect pollinator, the Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum,

in PLoS One

9

(9)

article no. e107568

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Dreier, S., Redhead, J. W., Warren, I. A., Bourke, A. F. G., Heard, M. S., Jordan, W. C., Sumner, S., Wang, J., Carvell, C.

(2014)

Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of common and declining bumble bees across an agricultural landscape,

in Molecular Ecology

23

(14)

pp. 3384-3395

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Zanette, L. R. S., Miller, S. D. L., Faria, C. M. A., Lopez-Vaamonde, C., Bourke, A. F. G.

(2014)

Bumble bee workers drift to conspecific nests at field scales,

in Ecological Entomology

39

(3)

pp. 347-354

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bourke, A. F. G.

(2014)

Hamilton's rule and the causes of social evolution,

in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

369

(1642)

article no. 20130362

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bourke, A. F. G.

(2014)

The gene’s-eye view, major transitions and the formal darwinism project,

in Biology and Philosophy

29

(2)

pp. 241-248

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Ferguson-Gow, H., Sumner, S., Bourke, A. F. G., Jones, K. E.

(2014)

Colony size predicts division of labour in Attine ants,

in Proceedings of the Royal Society B

281

article no. 20141411

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Holland, J., Guidat, F., Bourke, A.

(2013)

Queen control of a key life-history event in a eusocial insect,

in Biology Letters

9

(3)

pp. 20130056-20130056

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bourke, A., Mank, J. E.

(2013)

Genes and queens,

in Nature

493

pp. 612-613

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Carvell, C., Jordan, W., Bourke, A., Pickles, R., Redhead, J., Heard, M.

(2012)

Molecular and spatial analyses reveal links between colony-specific foraging distance and landscape-level resource availability in two bumblebee species,

in Oikos

121

(5)

pp. 734–742

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bourke, A.

(2012)

Kin selection,

in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Ecology

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

I am an evolutionary biologist and behavioural ecologist interested in the evolutionary, ecological and genetic basis of social behaviour and in the conservation biology of social insects. Particular research areas and activities include:

  • Empirical studies to test hypotheses from inclusive fitness (kin selection) theory using ants and bumble bees
  • Conceptual, synthetic and empirical studies that apply insights from the study of social evolution to related domains, examples being the evolution of ageing and the major transitions in evolution
  • Developing genetic methods for censusing wild populations of bees with a view to aiding conservation initiatives for these threatened pollinators
  • Assessment of agri-environment schemes for bumble bees and the conservation genetics of scarce or declining social insects


We conduct a mixture of laboratory work and field work in the group. For the laboratory work, we rear colonies of ants in our incubators and we either rear our own bumble bee colonies from wild-caught queens or buy in colonies from commercial suppliers, all of which are then maintained under controlled conditions in BIO's recent Controlled Environment Facility. Our study methods include direct observation and filming to investigate within-nest behaviour and the monitoring of wild-reared bumble bee nests placed outside to look at behaviour in a field setting. They also include microsatellite genotyping to measure within-colony relatedness or to investigate space use by free-flying bees, and (with collaborators) qRT-PCR and RNA-Seq to measure gene expression levels. Field techniques include scoring bee biodiversity as a function of landscape features and detailed studies of plant-bee interactions.

We hold a weekly meeting and group lunch to troubleshoot problems and discuss the latest research by ourselves and others. In addition, we benefit from the lively and supportive research environment provided by the Organisms and Environment Research Theme, CEEC and BIO as a whole, as well as the wider Norwich Research Park. Each of these organizations runs seminar programs and social events. Everyone in the group is encouraged to attend and present at national and international conferences such as meetings of ASAB, BES, ESEB, ISBE and IUSSI.
 

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests include evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, social evolution and conservation genetics, as well as mathematics and mathematical modelling.

Professional Activities

  • NERC Peer Review College Core Panel member 2014 -
  • NERC Peer Review College member 2005 - 2009
  • Editorial Board, 'Ecology Letters' 2010 - present
  • Editor, then Editor-in-Chief, 'Behavioral Ecology' 2000 - 2006
  • Invited Symposium Speaker, 14th Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, University of Lisbon, Portugal 2013
  • Plenary Speaker, 16th International Congress of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Copenhagen, Denmark 2010
  • President, International Union for the Study of Social Insects, North-west European Section 2007 - 2009

Administrative Posts

  • Director of Research, BIO
  • Member, BIO Executive
  • Member, BIO Promotions Committee
  • Module organizer, Social Evolution (BIO-6011B)
  • Deputy Head of School, BIO (2014 - 2017)
  • Coordinator, BIO Open Lectures (2012 - 2017)