Summary of our research

A multinational, interdisciplinary consortium of 51 world-renowned experts, centred at eight leading academic institutions, are putting the predictions of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) to the test. Empirical and theoretical research is supported and promoted through conferences, workshops, symposia and public-engagement activities.





Project objectives


The EES represents a new way of thinking about evolution, with its own assumptions, structure and predictions. It sets out to provide a coherent conceptual framework capable of inspiring novel research in evolutionary biology and adjacent fields.


We aim to:

  • Demonstrate the explanatory potential of EES thinking
  • Conduct critical empirical tests of key EES predictions
  • Devise novel conceptual and formal mathematical theory
  • Promote awareness of the role of conceptual frameworks in science and encourage pluralism


Our research will:

  • Provide definitive evaluations of the significance of hotly contested processes in evolution (e.g. niche construction, non-genetic inheritance)
  • Clarify the evolutionary importance of individual responses to the environment (plasticity)
  • Devise new theoretical approaches for complex genotype-to-phenotype relations
  • Establish to what extent developmental processes explain long-term trends, parallel evolution, biological diversity and evolvability




Research projects


The program comprises 22 research projects divided into 4 interconnected themes. Experimental and theoretical studies test EES claims by comparing and evaluating predictions from traditional and EES perspectives.


Visit Research projects to learn more about each of the 22 research projects.


The EES Final Report is a summary of the main hypotheses, results and activities of the project, and of the team that participated.

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