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Our research tackles a simple question that poses a deep evolutionary puzzle: why do individuals invest to help others?

Research in this group explores the evolution of cooperation in nature. In particular, we ask what mechanisms can maintain cooperation in interactions where partners may otherwise be tempted to exploit one another. In parallel, we investigate the ecological causes and evolutionary consequences of individual variation in social behaviour.

We work on a variety of model species, and use real-world and lab-based methods to tackle these questions.

We are striving to be an open science lab. We publish in open-access journals, we pre-register our experiments when we can, and we routinely post the materials, data and code to reproduce analyses online.

If you’re keen to come and work with us in the Social Evolution and  Behaviour Lab at UCL, please get in touch.

More about our research

Principal investigator

Nichola Raihani

Nichola Raihani is PI of the Social Evolution and Behaviour Lab. She is Professor in Evolution and Behaviour, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Nichola Raihani awarded Philip Leverhulme Prize for Psychology

New paper shows that social threat causes paranoid thinking

Nichola Raihani elected to Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology