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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Simon Evans

Dr Simon Evans

Postdoctoral research fellow

 Tremough House Tremough House M208


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


While I'm broadly interested in behavioural and evolutionary ecology, much of my work focusses on  quantitative genetics in wild populations. I’ve used animal models to infer evolution processes in avian study populations (and also for people in the Swiss canton of Glarus, using church records spanning four centuries). I am increasingly interested in how the summary overview presented by a ‘classical’ quantitative genetics study can be expanded, for example by considering the spatiotemporal dynamics of heritable effects, the impact of the social environment, and whether it is possible to better align empirical and theoretical perspectives of fitness by extending our cradle-to-grave perspective of the lifespan to include prenatality.


2022 Fellow of the Higher Education Authority

2011 PhD, University of Oxford

2006 MSc Biology (Integrative Bioscience), University of Oxford

2005 BA (hons), University of Cambridge


2022-present: Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Exeter

2021-2022: Lecturer, University of Exeter

2019-2021: Postdoctoral research associate, University of Exeter

2017-2018: Research Coordinator, Edward Grey Institute, University of Oxford

2015-2017: Postdoc, University of Zurich

2013-2015: Forskare [Researcher], Uppsala University

2011-2013, Postdoctoral research assistant, Uppsala University

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Journal articles

Bonnet T, Morrissey MB, de Villemereuil P, Alberts SC, Arcese P, Bailey LD, Boutin S, Brekke P, Brent LJN, Camenisch G, et al (2022). Genetic variance in fitness indicates rapid contemporary adaptive evolution in wild animals. Science, 376(6596), 1012-1016. Abstract.
Evans SR, Bearhop S (2022). Variation in movement strategies: Capital versus income migration. Journal of Animal Ecology, 91(10), 1961-1974. Abstract.
de Villemereuil P, Charmantier A, Arlt D, Bize P, Brekke P, Brouwer L, Cockburn A, Côté SD, Dobson FS, Evans SR, et al (2020). Fluctuating optimum and temporally variable selection on breeding date in birds and mammals. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 117(50), 31969-31978. Abstract.  Author URL.
Evans SR, Postma E, Sheldon BC (2020). It takes two: Heritable male effects on reproductive timing but not clutch size in a wild bird population. Evolution, 74(10), 2320-2331.
Culina A, van den Berg I, Evans S, Sánchez-Tójar A (2020). Low availability of code in ecology: A call for urgent action. PLoS Biol, 18(7). Abstract.  Author URL.
Hemmings N, Evans S (2020). Unhatched eggs represent the invisible fraction in two wild bird populations. Biology Letters, 16(1).
Gamelon M, Vriend SJG, Engen S, Adriaensen F, Dhondt AA, Evans SR, Matthysen E, Sheldon BC, Sæther B (2019). Accounting for interspecific competition and age structure in demographic analyses of density dependence improves predictions of fluctuations in population size. Ecology Letters, 22(5), 797-806.
Postma E, Evans S, Waldvogel D, Vasiljevic N (2018). Heritable spouse effects increase evolutionary potential of human reproductive timing. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285 Abstract.
Evans SR, Gustafsson L (2017). Climate change upends selection on ornamentation in a wild bird. NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 1(2).  Author URL.
Evans SR (2016). Gauging the Purported Costs of Public Data Archiving for Long-Term Population Studies. PLoS Biology, 14(4). Abstract.
Evans SR, Sheldon BC (2015). Colour in a new light: a spectral perspective on the quantitative genetics of carotenoid colouration. FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, 29(1), 96-103.  Author URL.
Evans S (2015). Sports doping vastly underestimated. NATURE, 519(7541), 33-33.  Author URL.
Evans SR, Schielzeth H, Forstmeier W, Sheldon BC, Husby A (2014). Nonautosomal Genetic Variation in Carotenoid Coloration. AMERICAN NATURALIST, 184(3), 374-383.  Author URL.
Evans SR, Sheldon BC (2013). Pigments versus structure: examining the mechanism of age-dependent change in a carotenoid-based colour. JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, 82(2), 418-428.  Author URL.
Evans SR, Sheldon BC (2012). Quantitative Genetics of a Carotenoid-Based Color: Heritability and Persistent Natal Environmental Effects in the Great Tit. AMERICAN NATURALIST, 179(1), 79-94.  Author URL.
Evans SR, Summers AGR, Sheldon BC (2012). Seasonality of carotenoid-based plumage coloration: modelling wavelength-specific change through spectral reconstruction. JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY, 43(3), 234-243.  Author URL.
Evans SR, Hinks AE, Wilkin TA, Sheldon BC (2010). Age, sex and beauty: methodological dependence of age- and sex-dichromatism in the great tit <i>Parus major</i>. BIOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, 101(4), 777-796.  Author URL.
Ager D, Evans S, Li H, Lilley AK, van der Gast CJ (2010). Anthropogenic disturbance affects the structure of bacterial communities. ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 12(3), 670-678.  Author URL.
Evans SR, Sheldon BC (2008). Interspecific patterns of genetic diversity in birds: Correlations with extinction risk. CONSERVATION BIOLOGY, 22(4), 1016-1025.  Author URL.
Evans SR, Finnie M, Manica A (2007). Shoaling preferences in decapod crustacea. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 74, 1691-1696.  Author URL.

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