Dr Chris Cooney

School of Biosciences

NERC Independent Research Fellow

BIOSC staff profile Chris Cooney
Profile picture of 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

Our research seeks to understand the processes structuring large-scale patterns of biodiversity. As a lab we 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.

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

Our key research themes 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

• Frane Babrovic (PhD student, PI: Gavin Thomas)
• Jasmine Hardie (PhD student)
• Aislinn Mckernon (MRes student)

PhD opportunities:
ACCE DTP Studentship – Understanding the links between animal sexual traits and environmental change. Closing date January 13, 2023. Link: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/acce-dtp-studentship-understanding-the-links-between-animal-sexual-traits-and-environmental-change/?p148835

Professional activities and memberships
  • Associate Editor at Ecology and Evolution
  • ESEB Special Topic Network 'Integration of Speciation Research' Co-chair