Mathematical Models of Evolution

Nick Barton

Nick Barton and his group study diverse topics in evolutionary genetics, but focus on the evolution of populations that are distributed through space, and that experience natural selection on many genes. Understanding how species adapt, and how they split into new species, requires understanding of spatial subdivision, whilst interactions between genes are important in species formation, and in the response to selection. The recent flood of genomic data makes analysis of the interactions amongst large numbers of genes essential.

Nick Barton
Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
Am Campus 1
A – 3400 Klosterneuburg

Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-3001


»Barton Group website

Astrid Bonventre-Darthe
Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-1194


  • David Field, Postdoc
  • Stefanie Belohlavy, PhD Student
  • Tamar Friedlander, Postdoc
  • Maria Clara Melo Hurtado, Postdoc
  • Sebastian Novak, Postdoc
  • Tiago Paixao, Postdoc
  • Pavel Payne, PhD Student
  • Melinda Pickup, Postdoc
  • Harald Ringbauer, PhD Student
  • Srdjan Sarikas, Postdoc
  • Himani Sachdeva, Postdoc
  • Eniko Szep, PhD Student
  • Barbora Trubenova, Postdoc

Current Projects

  • Speciation and hybridization in Antirrhinum
  • Evolution of sex and recombination
  • Evolutionary computation
  • Evolution of polygenic traits
  • Understanding genealogies in space and multiple loci
  • Limits to a species' range

Selected Publications

  • Polechova, J., Barton, N.H. 2015. Limits to adaptation along environmental gradients. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 112: 6401-6406.
  • Tugrul, M., Paixao, T., Barton, N.H., Tkacik, G. 2015. Dynamics of transcription factor binding site evolution. PLoS Genetics 11(11):e1005639. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005639
  • Paixao, T., Barton, N.H. 2016.  The effect of gene interactions on the long-term response to selection. PNAS 113: 4422-4427
  • Barton NH, Turelli M. 2011. Spatial waves of advance with
    bistable dynamics: cytoplasmic and genetic analogs of the
    Allee effect. American Naturalist 178: E48–75.
  • Barton NH, Briggs DEG, Eisen JA, Goldstein DB, Patel NH.
    2007. Evolution. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


Since 2008 Professor, IST Austria
Since 1990 Reader/Professor, University of Edinburgh, UK
1982–1990 Lecturer/Reader, University College London, UK
1980–1982 Demonstrator, Cambridge University, UK
1979 PhD, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Selected Distinctions

Highly Cited Researcher

2013 Erwin Schrödinger Prize, Austria Academy of Sciences
2013 Mendel Medal, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
2009 Linnean Society Darwin-Wallace Medal
2009 ERC Advanced Grant
2006 Royal Society Darwin Medal
2001 President, Society for the Study of Evolution
1998 American Society of Naturalists President's Award
1994 Fellow, Royal Society of London
1994 David Starr Jordan Prize

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