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Greg Hurst

Insects, Sex and Parasites Research Group

hypolimnas bolina


Professor of Evolutionary Biology

University of Liverpool
School of Biological Sciences
Biosciences Building
Crown Street
L69 7ZB

Phone: +44 (0)151 7954520
Fax: +44 (0)151 795 4414




2007-present: Professor of Evolutionary Biology, University of Liverpool
2004 - 2007: Reader in Ecology and Evolution, University College London
2002 - 2004: Lecturer in Ecology and Evolution, University College London
1997 - 2002: BBSRC David Phillips Fellow
1993 - 1997: Fantham Research Fellow, Christ's College, Cambridge.
1994: PhD Evolutionary Genetics, University of Cambridge.
1990: BA Zoology, University of Cambridge.

I am an honorary Reader at UCL, and have also held visiting fellowships at the Agricultural University of Wageningen (1995), the Netherlands, and the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Japan (2000).

I am on the editorial board of Heredity, the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and BMC Evolutionary Biology. I am a member of the American Society of Naturalists, the Genetics Society, ASAB, ESEB, The British Ecological Society, and the Royal Entomological Society.


I am interested in the effect of parasites on the design and population biology of their hosts. My main thesis is that most aspects of animal biology, from physiology and anatomy through to behaviour, are in some sense ‘designed’ by the need to avoid the actions of parasites. I am particularly interested in the influence of parasites on the design of animal reproductive systems, and on the functioning of invertebrate immune systems. I have obvious reciprocal interests in the parasites that affect these systems. My interest covers all manner of parasites, from classical infectious disease through sexually transmitted infections to ‘inherited pathogens’ and selfish genetic elements. If it causes damage, and causes it frequently, it will be an important aspect of host design and worth studying.



Charlat, S., Hornett, Emily A., Fullard, J.H., Davies, N. Roderick, G.K., Wedell, N. & Hurst, G.D.D. in press.  Extraordinary flux in sex-ratio. Science, in press.

Engelstaedter, J., Hammerstein, P. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2007. The evolution of endosymbiont density in doubly infected host species. J. evol. Biol,  in press.

Charlat, S., Davies, N., Roderick, G.K. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2007. Disrupting the timing of Wolbachia-induced male-killing. Biol. Lett. 3 :, 154-156.

Bentley, J.K., Veneti, Z, Heraty, J. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2007. The pathology of embryo death caused by the male-killing Spiroplasma bacterium in Drosophila nebulosa. BMC Biology, 5: 9.

Engelstaedter, J. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2007. Selection and random genetic drift in populations infected with male-killing bacteria. Genetics 275:245-254.  

Charlat, S.,  Reuter, M., Dyson, E.A., Horentt, E. A, Duplouy, A.M.R., Davies, N., Roderick, G.K., Wedell, N & Hurst, G.D.D. 2007. Male killing bacteria trigger a cycle of increasing male fatigue and female promiscuity. Current Biology 17: 273-277.

Hornett, E.A., Charlat, S., Duplouy, A.M.R., Davies, N. Roderick, G.K., Wedell, N. & Hurst, G.D.D.  2006. Evolution of Male Killer Suppression in a Natural Population. PLoS Biology 4: 1643-1648.

Charlat, S., Engelstaedter, J., Dyson, E.A., Hornett, E.A., Duplout, A.M.R., Tortosa, P., Davies, N., Roderick, G.K., Wedell, N. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2006. Competing selfish genetic elements in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina. Current Biology, 16: 2453-2458.

Engelstädter, J. Charlat, S,  Pomiankowski, A. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2006. The evolution of cytoplasmic incompatibility types: integrating segregation, inbreeding and outbreeding. Genetics 172: 2601-2611.

Webberley, K.M., Buszko, J., Isham, V. & Hurst ,G.D.D. 2006. Sexually Transmitted Disease Epidemics in a Natural Insect Population. J. Anim. Ecol. 75: 33-43.

Engelstaedter, J. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2006. Can maternally transmitted endosymbionts facilitate the evolution of haplodiploidy? J. evol. Biol. 19:194-202.

Telschow, A., Engelstädter, J., Yamamura, N. Hammerstein, P. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2006. Asymmetric gene flow and constraints on adaptation caused by sex ratio distorters. J. evol. Biol. 19: 869-878.

Montenegro, H., Petherwick, A.S., Hurst, G.D.D.& Klaczko, L.B.2006. Fitness effects of Wolbachia and Spiroplasma in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetica, 127: 207-215.

Engelstaedter, J. &  Hurst, G.D.D. 2006. The dynamics of parasite incidence across host species. Evol. Ecol.,  20: 603-616.

Webberley, K.M., Tinsley, M.C., Sloggett, J.J., Majerus, M.E.N., & Hurst, G.D.D. 2006. Spatial variation in the incidence of a sexually transmitted parasite of the ladybird beetle Adalia bipunctata. Eur. J. Entomol 103: 793-797.

Veneti, Z., Bentley, J.K., Koana, T., Braig, H.R. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2005. A Functional Dosage Compensation Complex Required For Male-killing in Drosophila. Science 307: 1461-1463.

Charlat, S., Hornett, E.A., Dyson, E.A., Ho, P.P.Y., Loc, N.T., Schilthuizen, M., Davies, N., Roderick, G.K. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2005. Is extreme male-killer prevalence a local or common event in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina? A survey across Indo-Pacific populations. Mol. Ecol.14: 3525-3530.

Hurst, G.D.D. & Jiggins, F.M. 2005. Problems with mitochondrial DNA as a marker in population, phylogeographic and phylogenetic studies: the effects of inherited symbionts. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 272: 1525-1534.

Montenegro, H., Solferini, V.N., Klaczko, L.B.  & Hurst, G.D.D. 2005. Male-killing Spiroplasma naturally infecting Drosophila melanogaster. Ins. Molec. Biol., 14: 281-288.

Dyson, E.A. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2004. Persistence of an extreme sex ratio bias in a natural population. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA  101: 6521-6525.

Engelstaedter, J. Montenegro, H. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2004. To what extent to different types of sex ratio distorter interfere? Evolution, 58: 2382-2386.

Webberley, K.M., Hurst, G.D.D., Husband, R.W., Schulenburg J.H.G.v.d., Sloggett, J.J., Isham, V., Buzcko, J, & Majerus, M.E.N. 2004.Host reproduction and a sexually transmitted disease: causes and consequences of Coccipolipus hippodamiae distribution on coccinellid beetles. J. Anim. Ecol. 73:1-10.

Jiggins, F.M. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2004. The evolution of parasite recognition genes in the innate immune system: purifying selection on Drosophila melanogaster peptidoglycan recognition proteins. J. mol. evol. 57: 598-605.

Veneti, Z., Toda, M. & Hurst, G.D.D. 2004 Host resistance does not explain variation in incidence of male-killing bacteria in Drosophila bifasciata. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 4: 52


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