Professor Tim Barraclough

Professor Timothy Barraclough

Subject: Biology

Department: Biology

College appointment: Tutorial Fellow

Academic position: Professor of Zoology


Professor Tim Barraclough is from Bradford, West Yorkshire, and graduated in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He completed his DPhil research on the evolution of biodiversity in the Department of Zoology at Oxford. He spent 23 years at Imperial College London’s Silwood Park campus, initially as a post-doctoral researcher and Royal Society University Research Fellow, later as Professor of Evolutionary Biology and deputy head of department responsible for the Silwood Park campus. He moved to Oxford in 2019.


Tim has taught evolutionary biology and ecology extensively at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, including introductory evolution classes, evolutionary modelling and class projects that gather useful scientific data for non-academic partners.

Research Interests

Tim works on the evolutionary biology of species diversity. Why does life evolve into distinct species? What processes shape speciation, adaptive divergence and diversity patterns? How does diversity affect the evolution of species living in complex ecosystems? In order to tackle these questions, his work combines theory and statistical analysis with molecular, genomic, experimental and field data across a wide range of animals, plants, fungi and bacteria. Current projects include comparative genomics to understand the bizarre asexual life-style of bdelloid rotifers – microscopic animals living in moss and freshwater – evolutionary time-series of pathogenic fungi from cryopreserved living samples, and ‘evolution and speciation in action’ within complex microbial communities.

Selected Publications