Staff Directory

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01522 88 6835
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool
United Kingdom

About Sheena Cotter

I am an evolutionary ecologist and I'm primarily interested in how interactions between species shape their evolution. My research interests are in the area of physiological and genetic life-history trade-offs; particularly in understanding how organisms evolve to defend themselves against attacks from other organisms and how they trade-off the costs of those defences with life-history traits such as longevity and fecundity. I use a combination of behavioural, physiological, quantitative and molecular genetic approaches to address these questions, using insects as model systems. Please contact me if you are interested in carrying out a PhD in my lab. I'm also happy to discuss potential projects for the Uruguay Scholarship scheme.

Department Responsibilities

Chair of the Athena SWAN committee I lecture on Evolutionary Ecology, Animal Nutrition and Plant animal interactions and teach on residential field courses in Malham and Chile.

Subject Specialism

Evolutionary ecology


  • PG cert Higher Education Teaching — Queen’s University Belfast, 2015
  • PhD Ecology — University of Stirling, 2002
  • BSc Zoology (Hons) — University of Liverpool, 1997


Associate editor for the Journal of Animal Ecology Associate editor for Ecological Entomology

Orcid ID


Research Interests

  • animal behaviour

  • Behavioural Ecology

  • ecological immunology

  • host-parasite interactions

  • insects

  • nutritional ecology

  • Sexual selection

  • social evolution

Research Groups Memberships

Research Projects

  • Host Pathogen interactions as a resource competition problem — awarded £472000 by BBSRC in 2012
  • Individual variation in the costs of molecular parental investment: cooperation, conflict and mutualism in family life — awarded £413000 by NERC in 2011
  • Immune function versus reproduction: the mediation of life history trade-offs in a risky environment — awarded £277000 by NERC in 2010
  • Understanding density-dependent disease resistance in insects — awarded £25000 by NERC in 2008
  • Hormones and Immunity in Insects — awarded £15000 by Royal Society in 2007

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations