Skip to main content

Ecology and Conservation

Dr Bram Kuijper

Dr Bram Kuijper

Senior Lecturer in Theoretical and Computational Biology

 01326 259022

 Tremough House M204


Tremough House, University of Exeter,  Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I use mathematical and simulation models to improve our understanding of fundamental questions in evolutionary behavioural ecology. While my previous work has focused on the evolution of sex differences and sexual selection, most of my current research focuses on the evolution of parental effects, the evolution of inheritance systems and infectious disease. To explore these questions, I use a range of theoretical techniques (evolutionary game theory, quantitative genetics, individual-based simulations). In collaboration with various researchers within the Centre for Ecology and Conservation and beyond, am also establishing empirical lines of research to test these evolutionary models.

Broad research specialisms:

  • Theoretical Biology
  • Disease Evolution
  • Epidemiology & Statistics
  • Behavioral Ecology
  • Sex allocation
  • Evolution of inheritance systems

Join us!

Interested in working on the interface between evolutionary theory and data? Interested in joining the group for a postdoctoral, PhD or MbyRes project? Please get in touch to discuss project ideas and funding options.
We welcome new group members who want to understand more about topics such as social evolution, evolutionary theory, sexual selection, sex allocation or the evolution of inheritance. We also welcome any collaborations in which some theory is done as part of an empirical project. No background in theory is required as long as you are willing to learn cool new things about models, genetics, programming and data.

Data science and programming

If you are a postgraduate student and interested in learning more about programming, I also organize a yearly programming course in Python. This is part of a series of courses taught by the University of Exeter's Data Analytics Hub, (coordinator: Dr Chris Yeomans):


2023 - Senior Lecturer in Theoretical and Computational Biology
2019 - 2023 Lecturer in Theoretical and Computational Biology
2016 - 2019 Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus
2013 - 2016 Research Fellow (EPSRC, UK), University College London
2010 - 2013 Research Associate (EPSRC, UK), University of Cambridge

2013 PhD Theoretical Biology (University of Groningen)

Back to top


Journal articles

Diaz F, Kuijper A, Hoyle RB, Talamantes N, Coleman JM, Matzkin LM (In Press). Environmental predictability drives adaptive within- and transgenerational plasticity of heat tolerance across life stages and climatic regions. Functional Ecology
Kuijper A, Johnstone RA (In Press). Evolution of epigenetic transmission when selection acts on fecundity versus viability. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (In Press). How sex-biased dispersal affects conflict over parental investment. bioRxiv
Bonneaud C, Lucy W, Bram K (In Press). Understanding the emergence of bacterial pathogens in novel hosts. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
Bullough K, Kuijper A, Caves E, Kelley L (2023). Weber's Law. Current Biology
Taborsky B, Kuijper A, Fawcett T, English S, Leimar O, McNamara J, Ruuskanen S (2022). An evolutionary perspective on stress responses, damage and repair. Hormones and Behavior, 142, 105180-105180. Abstract.
Kuijper A, Leimar O, Hammerstein P, McNamara JM, Dall SRX (2021). The evolution of social learning as phenotypic cue integration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 376(1828).
Smolla M, Jansson F, Lehmann L, Houkes W, Weissing FJ, Hammerstein P, Dall SRX, Kuijper B, Enquist M (2021). Underappreciated features of cultural evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 376(1828). Abstract.
Taborsky B, English S, Fawcett T, Kuijper A, Leimar O, McNamara J, Ruuskanen S, Sandi C (2020). Towards an evolutionary theory of stress responses. Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Kuijper ALW, Hanson MA, Vitikainen EIK, Marshall H, Ozanne SE, Cant MA (2019). Developing differences: early-life effects and evolutionary medicine. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
Vos M, Buckling A, Kuijper B (2019). Sexual Selection in Bacteria?. Trends Microbiol, 27(12), 972-981. Abstract.  Author URL.
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (2019). The evolution of early-life effects on social behaviour-why should social adversity carry over to the future?. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 374(1770).  Author URL.
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (2019). The evolution of parental effects when selection acts on fecundity versus viability. Abstract.
Leimar O, Dall SRX, McNamara JM, Kuijper B, Hammerstein P (2018). Ecological genetic conflict between specialism and plasticity through genomic islands of divergence. Abstract.
Leimar O, Dall SRX, McNamara JM, Kuijper A, Hammerstein P (2018). Ecological genetic conflict: Genetic architecture can shift the balance between local adaptation and plasticity. American Naturalist
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (2018). The Evolution of Early-Life Effects on Social Behaviour – Why Should Social Adversity Carry over to the Future?. Abstract.
Haaland TR, Wright J, Kuijper B, Ratikainen II (2017). Differential Allocation Revisited: When Should Mate Quality Affect Parental Investment?. The American Naturalist, 190(4), 534-546.
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (2017). How Sex-Biased Dispersal Affects Sexual Conflict over Care. The American Naturalist, 189(5), 501-514.
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (2017). Maternal Effects and Parent-Offspring Conflict. Abstract.
Kuijper ALW, Johnstone RA (2017). Maternal effects and parent-offspring conflict. Evolution
Hadjivasiliou Z, Pomiankowski A, Kuijper B (2016). The evolution of mating type switching. Evolution, 70(7), 1569-1581.
Kuijper B, Lane N, Pomiankowski A (2015). Can paternal leakage maintain sexually antagonistic polymorphism in the cytoplasm?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28(2), 468-480. Abstract.
Kuijper B (2015). Mitochondria: the Red Queen lies within (comment on DOI 10.1002/bies.201500057). BioEssays, 37(9), 934-934.
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (2015). Parental effects and the evolution of phenotypic memory. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 29(2), 265-276. Abstract.
Knapp B, Bardenet R, Bernabeu MO, Bordas R, Bruna M, Calderhead B, Cooper J, Fletcher AG, Groen D, Kuijper B, et al (2015). Ten Simple Rules for a Successful Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration. PLOS Computational Biology, 11(4), e1004214-e1004214.
Kuijper B, Hoyle RB (2015). When to rely on maternal effects and when on phenotypic plasticity?. Evolution, 69(4), 950-968.
Kuijper B, Pen I (2014). Conflict over condition‐dependent sex allocation can lead to mixed sex‐determination systems. Evolution, 68(11), 3229-3247.
Johnstone RA, Kuijper B (2014). Kin Competition and the Evolution of Sex Differences in Development Time and Body Size. The American Naturalist, 183(4), 537-546.
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA, Townley S (2014). The evolution of multivariate maternal effects. PLoS Comput Biol, 10(4). Abstract.  Author URL.
Ma W-J, Kuijper B, de Boer JG, van de Zande L, Beukeboom LW, Wertheim B, Pannebakker BA (2013). Absence of Complementary Sex Determination in the Parasitoid Wasp Genus Asobara (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). PLoS ONE, 8(4), e60459-e60459.
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (2013). How should parents adjust the size of their young in response to local environmental cues?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(7), 1488-1498. Abstract.
Kuijper B, Pen I, Weissing FJ (2012). A Guide to Sexual Selection Theory. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 43(1), 287-311. Abstract.
Kuijper B, Johnstone RA (2012). How dispersal influences parent–offspring conflict over investment. Behavioral Ecology, 23(4), 898-906.
Stulp G, Kuijper B, Buunk AP, Pollet TV, Verhulst S (2012). Intralocus sexual conflict over human height. Biology Letters, 8(6), 976-978. Abstract.
de Boer JG, Kuijper B, Heimpel GE, Beukeboom LW (2012). Sex determination meltdown upon biological control introduction of the parasitoid <i><scp>C</scp>otesia rubecula?</i>. Evolutionary Applications, 5(5), 444-454. Abstract.
Fawcett TW, Kuijper B, Weissing FJ, Pen I (2011). Sex-ratio control erodes sexual selection, revealing evolutionary feedback from adaptive plasticity. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 108(38), 15925-15930.  Author URL.
Kuijper B, Morrow EH (2009). Direct observation of female mating frequency using time-lapse photography. Fly, 118-120.
KUIJPER B, PEN I (2009). The evolution of haplodiploidy by male‐killing endosymbionts: importance of population structure and endosymbiont mutualisms. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(1), 40-52. Abstract.
Feldmayer B, Kozielska M, Kuijper B, Weissing FJ, Beukeboom LW, Pen I (2008). Climatic variation and the geographical distribution of sex-determining mechanisms in the housefly. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 10, 797-809.
Fawcett TW, Kuijper B, Pen I, Weissing FJ (2007). Should attractive males have more sons?. Behavioral Ecology, 18(1), 71-80. Abstract.
Fawcett TW, Kuijper B, Pen I, Weissing FJ (2007). Should attractive males have more sons?. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY, 18(1), 71-80.  Author URL.
van de Pol M, Heg D, Bruinzeel LW, Kuijper B, Verhulst S (2006). Experimental evidence for a causal effect of pair-bond duration on reproductive performance in oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus). Behavioral Ecology, 17(6), 982-991.
Kuijper B, Stewart AD, Rice WR (2006). The cost of mating rises nonlinearly with copulation frequency in a laboratory population of <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i>. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 19(6), 1795-1802. Abstract.


Rice WR, Stewart AD, Morrow EH, Kuijper B (2006). Measuring the costs & benefits of receiving sperm in Drosophila melanogaster.  Author URL.

Back to top


I teach the year 2 module ‘Behavioural Ecology’ and co-coordinate the MSc module 'Approaches in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology'. I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.

For the University of Exeter's Data Science Hub, I teach the course 'Introduction to Scientific Computing in Python'.

I also organize an annual book reading discussion, where we work through a book that deals with models in ecology and evolution. Currently, we are reading McElreath & Boyd's 'Mathematical Models of Social Evolution'.



Information not currently available

Back to top

Supervision / Group

Postdoctoral researchers

  • Ana Duarte

Postgraduate researchers

Back to top

Office Hours:

Tuesdays 13:00 - 15:00
Fridays 13:00 - 15:00

Or send me an email to arrange a meeting, preferably on Tuesday or Friday.

Back to top

Edit Profile