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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Professor John A Allen BSc, PhD

Emeritus Professor

Professor John A Allen's photo

Retired from the hustle and bustle of university life (1971-2010), my research remains centred on frequency-dependent selection as a mechanism for maintaining genetic diversity. My main focus is on fieldwork to try to unravel the genetic, ecological and behavioural reasons why unrelated species of land snails in different regions – Europe, east Africa and Cuba, for example - often have similar diversity in the coloration of their shells. I also continue to be Editor-in-Chief of the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, an international journal of evolution and successor to the one in which Darwin and Wallace published their epic paper on natural selection.

Career history

2010-Present: Emeritus Professor, University of Southampton, UK.
2003-2008: Deputy Head of School (Education), University of Southampton, UK.
2000-2003: Head of Biodiversity and Ecology Division, University of Southampton, UK.
1996-2000: Chair of Honours, University of Southampton, UK.
1976-2010: Lecturer & Senior Lecturer, University of Southampton, UK.
1971-1975: Lecturer in Zoology, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Academic qualifications

1964-1971: BSc and PhD, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Research interests

1. The evolutionary causes of biological diversity at the molecular, morphological and behavioural levels.

2. Frequency-dependent selection.

3. Behaviour of predators.

4. Editor of the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, a journal of evolution.

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Pernetta, A.P., Reading, C.J., & Allen, J.A. Chemoreception and kin discrimination by neonate smooth snakes, Coronella austriaca. (2009) Animal Behaviour, 77: 363-368.

Seddon, M.B., Tattersfield, P., Herbert, D.G., Rowson, B., Lange, C.N., Ngereza, C., Warui, C.M. & Allen, J.A. Diversity of forest mollusc communities in Africa: what we have learned since Solem (1984). (2005) Records of the Western Australian Museum, supplement 68: 103-113.

Allen, J.A. Avian and mammalian predators. (2004) In: Barker, G.M. (ed.) Natural Enemies of Terrestrial Molluscs, CABI, pp 1-36.


Professor John A Allen
Biological Sciences Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences Life Sciences Building 85 University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ
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