Nick Barton

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Nicholas Barton

Nicholas Hamilton Barton

(1955-08-30) 30 August 1955 (age 66)
Alma mater
Known forEvolution textbook[1]
Scientific career
FieldsEvolutionary biology
ThesisA narrow hybrid zone in the alpine grasshopper podisma pedestris (1979)
Doctoral advisorGodfrey Hewitt[2]

Nicholas Hamilton Barton FRS FRSE (born 30 August 1955) is a British evolutionary biologist.[3][4][5][6][7][8]


Barton was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge where he graduated with a first-class degree in Natural Sciences in 1976 and gained his PhD supervised by Godfrey Hewitt at the University of East Anglia in 1979.[2]


After a brief spell as a lab demonstrator at the University of Cambridge, Barton became a Lecturer at the Department of Genetics and Biometry, University College London, in 1982. Professor Barton is best known for his work on hybrid zones, often using the toad Bombina bombina as a study organism, and for extending the mathematical machinery needed to investigate multilocus genetics, a field in which he worked in collaboration with Michael Turelli. Research questions he has investigated include: the role of epistasis, the evolution of sex, speciation, and the limits on the rate of adaptation.

Barton moved to the University of Edinburgh in 1990, where he is said to have been instrumental in attracting to Edinburgh Brian and Deborah Charlesworth, with whom he had previously collaborated, thus complementing the university's strong tradition in quantitative genetics and population genetics and helping the University of Edinburgh to continue as one of the most important research institutions in evolutionary genetics worldwide. In 2008 Barton moved to Klosterneuburg (Austria) where he became the first professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria.

Barton was made a professor in 1994. In 2007, Barton, along with Derek E.G. Briggs, Jonathan A. Eisen, David B. Goldstein, and Nipam H. Patel, collaborated to create Evolution,[1] an undergraduate textbook which integrates molecular biology, genomics, and human genetics with traditional evolutionary studies.

Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nicholas H. Barton, Derek E. G. Briggs, Jonathan A. Eisen, David B. Goldstein, Nipam H. Patel "Evolution" Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1st edition (30 June 2007) ISBN 0-87969-684-2
  2. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae – Nicholas Hamilton Barton" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  3. ^ Barton, N. H.; Etheridge, A. M. (2004). "The effect of selection on genealogies". Genetics. 166 (2): 1115–31. doi:10.1534/genetics.166.2.1115. PMC 1470728. PMID 15020491. open access
  4. ^ Prof. Barton's staff homepage at the University of Edinburgh
  5. ^ List of publications
  6. ^ Nick Barton's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Barton, N. H.; Hewitt, G. M. (1989). "Adaptation, speciation and hybrid zones". Nature. 341 (6242): 497–503. Bibcode:1989Natur.341..497B. doi:10.1038/341497a0. PMID 2677747. S2CID 4360057.
  8. ^ Barton, N. H. (2001). "The role of hybridization in evolution". Molecular Ecology. 10 (3): 551–68. doi:10.1046/j.1365-294x.2001.01216.x. PMID 11298968. S2CID 22129817.