Dr Chris Cooney

School of Biosciences

NERC Independent Research Fellow

BIOSC staff profile Chris Cooney
+44 114 222 0079

Full contact details

Dr Chris Cooney
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
Western Bank
S10 2TN
  • NERC Independent Research Fellow, University of Sheffield (2021-present)
  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Sheffield (2019-2020)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield (2014-2019)
  • DPhil Zoology, University of Oxford (2010-2014)
  • BSc Biology, University of York (2007-2010)
Research interests

My research seeks to understand the processes structuring large-scale patterns of biodiversity. I specialise in the use and development of phylogenetic comparative methods and large datasets to address fundamental questions about the forces shaping Earth’s biodiversity and the factors responsible for maintaining it.

I work on a broad range of macro-scale ecological and evolutionary questions, often using birds as a model system. In particular, I am interested in understanding the interaction between sexual selection and ecology in driving evolutionary dynamics within birds and across the Tree of Life.

My key research topics include:

  • The evolution of sexual signalling traits
  • Sexual dimorphism, sexual selection and speciation
  • The drivers of speciation rate variation
  • Geographic and taxonomic diversity gradients
  • The causes and consequences of species co-existence

Journal articles

Research group


Professional activities

Associate Editor at Ecology and Evolution