Evolutionary Ecology is a concept-oriented journal of biological research at the interface of ecology and evolution. We publish papers that therefore integrate both fields of research: research that seeks to explain the ecology of organisms in the context of evolution, or patterns of evolution as explained by ecological processes.

The journal publishes original research and discussion concerning the evolutionary ecology of organisms. These may include papers addressing evolutionary aspects of population ecology, organismal interactions and coevolution, behaviour, life histories, communication, morphology, host-parasite interactions and disease ecology, as well as ecological aspects of genetic processes. The objective is to promote the conceptual, theoretical and empirical development of ecology and evolutionary biology; the scope extends to any organism or system.

In additional to Original Research articles, we publish Review articles that survey recent developments in the field of evolutionary ecology; Ideas & Perspectives articles which present new points of view and novel hypotheses; and Comments on articles recently published in Evolutionary Ecology or elsewhere. We also welcome New Tests of Existing Ideas - testing well-established hypotheses but with broader data or more methodologically rigorous approaches; - and shorter Natural History Notes, which aim to present new observations of organismal biology in the wild that may provide inspiration for future research. As of 2018, we now also invite Methods papers, to present or review new theoretical, practical or analytical methods used in evolutionary ecology.

Students & Early Career Researchers: We particularly encourage, and offer incentives for, submission of Reviews, Ideas & Perspectives, and Methods papers by students and early-career researchers (defined as being within one year of award of a PhD degree) – see Students & Early Career Researchers

We publish 7 types of papers:

1. Original Research articles, which present the results of empirical or theoretical research testing current ideas in evolutionary ecology;

2. Review articles, which survey recent developments in the field of evolutionary ecology;

3. Ideas & Perspectives articles, which present new points of view and/or novel hypotheses;

4. Methods papers, to present or review new theoretical, practical or analytical methods used in evolutionary ecology (as of 2018);

5. Comments on articles recently published in Evolutionary Ecology or elsewhere;

6. New Tests of Existing Ideas, which present tests of well-established hypotheses but with broader data or more methodologically rigorous approaches;

7. Natural History Notes, which present new observations of organismal biology in the wild that may provide inspiration for future evolutionary ecology research.

  • A conceptually oriented journal of basic biology at the interface between ecology and evolution
  • Covers any aspect of the ecology of organisms in the context of evolution
  • Includes all organisms and systems, unbiased with respect to taxon or biome

Journal information

Editor-in-Chief
  • Matthew Symonds
Publishing model
Hybrid (Transformative Journal). Learn about publishing Open Access with us

Journal metrics

1.800 (2019)
Impact factor
1.887 (2019)
Five year impact factor
52 days
Submission to first decision
165 days
Submission to acceptance
101,628 (2019)
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This journal has 62 open access articles

Journal updates

  • CALL FOR PAPERS for Special Issue: The ecological and evolutionary implications of allometry

    This special issue aims to collate articles that investigate the ecological and evolutionary implications of biological scaling. Allometry—the study of proportional growth of body parts, and the relationship of body size to an organism’s morphology, physiology and behaviour—is a fundamental influencer of ecological and evolutionary diversity. Approaches to the study of allometry vary from studies on scaling across an individual's development (ontogeny allometry), across individuals at the same developmental stage (static allometry), and across species (evolutionary allometry). Despite multiple definitions of allometry, it is evident that an organism’s body size is a critical factor in shaping its biology, and as such biological scaling underpins biological diversity.

  • Featured Paper: When animal coloration is a poor match

    When animal coloration is a poor match

    Open Access

    Biologists usually pursue the adaptationist paradigm in trying to explain the functional significance of animal coloration. Here I collate instances in which coloration may be a poor match in the context of background matching, Batesian mimicry, aposematism, and colour polymorphisms. This can occur because of trade-offs with other functions, relaxed selection from predation, or colour trait neutrality. Also, mechanistic, pleiotropic and chance genetic effects can all result in a poor match to the background environment or to signaling efficiently. While biologists implicitly recognise these constraints placed on adaptive coloration, they rarely explicitly acknowledge the heterodox notion that coloration might be under weak selection or no selection at all. Unfortunately, it is difficult to show this definitively, as illustrated in an investigation into the function of colour polymorphisms in coconut crabs.

  • Featured Paper: Social interaction, and not group size, predicts parasite burden in mammals

    Social interaction, and not group size, predicts parasite burden in mammals

    Freely accessible until March 31, 2021

    Although parasitism is often considered a cost of sociality, the evidence is mixed, possibly because sociality is multivariate. Here we contrast the dependence of parasitism costs on major social variables such as group size and social structure, as measured by network metrics. We conduct two robust phylogenetic meta-analyses, comprising 43 published results for studies with group size and 32 results with social structure metrics. This is the first meta-analytical test of this hypothesis for mammals as a whole. Contrarily to theoretical expectations and previous meta-analyses, there is no relationship between group size and parasitism, but we find conflicting results when analysing different aspects of sociality. Our analysis reveals that social structure is connected to parasite load, possibly because contact between group members, and not group size, is linked to parasite transmission. While more intensely interconnected groups facilitate parasite transmission, large groups are frequently fragmented into smaller, weakly connected subgroups. Strong social modularisation should thus be favoured by natural selection to hamper parasite overload. Future empirical studies should focus on specific parameters of social network structure and on parasite transmissibility. If social structure can evolve fast, even culturally, then host/parasites evolutionary games enter into a whole new fast dynamics, and animal conservation studies should take advantage of this possibility.

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About this journal

Electronic ISSN
1573-8477
Print ISSN
0269-7653
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