Clegg, Professor Sonya

photo (c) John Cairns

Sonya Clegg

Professor of Evolutionary Ecology

Tutorial Fellow


Department Website

Research Interests

I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in the processes that promote divergence in wild vertebrate systems. To understand the processes of genetic, morphological and ecological/behavioural differentiation, I combine field and molecular ecology approaches in my research. I currently lead a long-term field project on natural selection, demography and behaviour in a bird population of silvereye on Heron Island, Australia and have projects on Australian and Pacific island bird populations examining genomic diversification, the genetic basis of dispersal, and evolutionary ecology implications of avian malaria. I am also interested in repeated patterns of evolution, such as those associated with the island syndrome, a suite of changes that are regularly associated with island dwelling.



Life-history strategy varies with the strength of competition in a food-limited ungulate population.
Kentie, R, Clegg, SM, Tuljapurkar, S, Gaillard, J-M, Coulson, T. Ecology letters. 2020

Rapid morphological divergence following a human-mediated introduction: the role of drift and directional selection.
Sendell-Price, AT, Ruegg, KC, Clegg, SM. Heredity. 2020

A simple dynamic model explains the diversity of island birds worldwide.
Valente, L, Phillimore, AB, Melo, M, Warren, BH, Clegg, SM, Havenstein, K, Tiedemann, R, Illera, JC, Thébaud, C, Aschenbach, T, Etienne, RS. Nature. 2020