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Snake
Kevin with a lizard

Group Overview

The Macroevolution and Ecology of Toxic Animals Lab (METALab) aim to understand the origin and evolution of biodiversity, focussing on venomous and poisonous animals. It is Dr Kevin Arbuckle’s research group and revolves around the application of the phylogenetic comparative approach to a diverse range of problems of a fundamental nature, with occasional steps in a more applied direction. Broad areas of research include the evolution of venomous animals and their venoms, the association between organismal traits (such as chemical weaponry) and evolutionary diversification, the behavioural ecology of antipredator defence, and convergent evolution. However, research in METALab has ranged from exotic animal husbandry to human behavioural ecology as Dr Arbuckle maintains a multidisciplinary scope to his work. METALab currently works on study systems including invertebrates, fish, mammals and birds, but has a particularly strong focus on amphibians and reptiles.