Alistair Blachford

Zoology Computing Manager

Office: Biodiv 122

Manager of the Zoology Computing Unit,
and a biologist at heart.


The geek

Manager of the Zoology Computing Unit, responsible for the research and teaching computing infrastructure of Zoology and the Biodiversity Research Centre.

The nerd

Thinking about spatial heterogeneity, migration load and sexual reproduction led me into assortative mating for a while. And then the narrow specificity of patterns in environmental change which favour sex led me to consider sex with respect to 'no pattern' ... noise (individual luck). More recently I have been working on the puzzle of lemming cycles, in particular why cyclic small mammals reduce reproduction at the craziest time -- when numbers are dropping fast and/or are very low. Turns out that's actually adaptive if one assumes that reproduction means additional risk of dying. And I noticed an effective way that animals might cue their plasticity in reproductive output without monitoring the actual mortality agents.

I am also very interested in philosophy of science, in particular the foundations of evolutionary theory. Among other things.

The regular guy

Talk to me about sea kayaking on Canada's left coast, southern Alaska, and the arctic.

Faculty of Science Achievement Award

For Service

For exceptional service contributions as staff.

Reputation-based conditional interaction supports cooperation in well-mixed prisoner's dilemmas
PLOS ONE 7(5): e36260 doi:10.1371/journal
Chen, X., A. Schick, M. Doebeli, A. Blachford, and L. Wang
On luck and sex
Evolution 63(1): 40-47
Blachford, A., M. Doebeli
Assortative mating for fitness and the evolution of recombination
Evolution 60(7): 1337-1343
Blachford, A., A. F. Agrawal