School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Professor Richard Nichols


Professor of Evolutionary Genetics

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 3362
Room Number: Room 5.19, Fogg building

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Ecology (Field Course) (BIO123)
  • Practical Molecular and Cellular Biology (Tutorials) (BIO190)
  • Practical Biology (Tutorials) (BIO192)
  • Research Methods and Communication (Tutorial) (BIO209)
  • Evolutionary Genetics (BIO221)
  • Ecological Interactions (BIO293)
  • Research Methods and Communication II (BIO309)
  • Population and Chromosome Genetics (BIO325)

Postgraduate Teaching

Teaching on our Ecology and Evolutionary Biology MSc and Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics MSc:

  • Research Frontiers in Evolutionary Biology (BIO731P)


Research Interests:

Using genetic evidence to understand the biology and history of living organisms.

My work combines the collection of genetic data with the development of new analytical methods.

A recent example is a collaboration with SMD virologist Judy Breuer on the DNA sequences of chicken pox virus, which has led us to reevaluate the orthodoxy about its mode of spread, and has led to a two new projects on the way the virus spreads in the human body.

I am also developing similar methods to study the movement of DNA sequences around the genome. We have detected spectacular movement of ribosomal DNA within a grasshopper genome, with populations separated by a few hundred metres having no ribosomal loci in common. These populations are part of the same species, but the offspring must be severely affected where the populations cross. Studying the processes leading to this unexpected and dramatic rearrangement of the genome may explain the origins of incompatibilities between isolated populations.

Research department

Latest research news



Current PhD opportunities

PhD supervison