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See also my ResearcherID publications list here.


Bourke AFG (2023) Conflict and conflict resolution in the major transitions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 290: 20231420. Open Access


Collins DH, Prince DC, Donelan JL, Chapman T, Bourke AFG (2023) Costs of reproduction are present but latent in eusocial bumblebee queens. BMC Biology 21: 153. Open Access

Collins DH, Prince DC, Donelan JL, Chapman T, Bourke AFG (2023) Developmental diet alters the fecundity-longevity relationship and age-related gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster. The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 78: 2240-2250. Open Access


Holland JG*, Zanette LRS*, Nunes T, Bourke AFG (2023) Policing is more effective against eggs of non-natal versus natal workers at early colony stages in a bumblebee. Ethology 129: 421-431. *Joint first authors Open Access


Wang J, Bourke AFG (2023) Parentage exclusion of close relatives in haplodiploid species. Theoretical Population Biology 154: 40-50.​



Bourke AFG (2021) The role and rule of relatedness. Nature (N&V article) 590: 392-394 View article


Brock RE*, Crowther LP*, Wright DJ, Richardson DS, Carvell C, Taylor MI, Bourke AFG (2021) No severe genetic bottleneck in a rapidly range-expanding bumblebee pollinator. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 288: 20202639. *Equal contribution Open Access


Collins DH, Wirén A, Labédan M, Smith M, Prince DC, Mohorianu I, Dalmay T, Bourke AFG (2021) Gene expression during larval caste determination and differentiation in intermediately eusocial bumblebees, and a comparative analysis with advanced eusocial honeybees. Molecular Ecology 30: 718-735. Open Access


Bourke WJ, Marca A, Andrews JE, Bourke AFG (2020) Scientific note on a large gastropod (Pleurotomariidae) from Upper Cretaceous Chalk at Overstrand, Norfolk, UK. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Norfolk 70: 67-71.


Almond EJ, Huggins TJ, Crowther LP, Parker JD, Bourke AFG (2019) Queen longevity and fecundity affect conflict with workers over resource inheritance in a social insect. American Naturalist 193: 256-266. Open Access

Bourke AFG (2019) Inclusive fitness and the major transitions in evolution. Current Opinion in Insect Science 34: 61-67.

Crowther LP, Wright DJ, Richardson DS, Carvell C, Bourke AFG (2019) Spatial ecology of a range-expanding bumble bee pollinator. Ecology and Evolution 9: 986-997. Open Access




Blacher P, Huggins TJ, Bourke AFG (2017) Evolution of ageing, costs of reproduction and the fecundity-longevity trade-off in eusocial insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 20170380. Open Access

Carvell C, Bourke AFG, Dreier S, Freeman SN, Hulmes S, Jordan WC, Redhead JW, Sumner S, Wang J, Heard MS (2017) Bumblebee family lineage survival is enhanced in high quality landscapes. Nature 543: 547-549.

Collins DH, Mohorianu I, Beckers M, Moulton V, Dalmay T, Bourke AFG (2017) MicroRNAs associated with caste determination and differentiation in a primitively eusocial insect. Scientific Reports 7: 45674. Open Access


Lockett GA*, Almond EJ*, Huggins TJ, Parker JD, Bourke AFG (2016) Gene expression differences in relation to age and social environment in queen and worker bumble bees. Experimental Gerontology 77: 52-61 *Joint first authors Open Access

Redhead JW, Dreier S, Bourke AFG, Heard MS, Jordan WC, Sumner S, Wang J, Carvell C (2016) Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumblebee species. Ecological Applications 26: 726-739.


Bourke AFG (2015) Social evolution: uneasy lies the head. Current Biology 25: R1077–R1079.

Bourke AFG (2015) Sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera support inclusive fitness theory. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28: 2106-2111. Open Access

Carvell C, Bourke AFG, Osborne JL, Heard MS (2015) Effects of an agri-environment scheme on bumblebee reproduction at local and landscape scales. Basic and Applied Ecology 16: 519-530.

Holland JG, Bourke AFG (2015) Colony and individual life-history responses to temperature in a social insect pollinator. Functional Ecology 29: 1209-1217. Open Access

Sadd BM, Barribeau SM, Bloch G, de Graaf DC, Dearden P, Elsik CG et al. [144 authors in total including Bourke AFG] (2015) The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization. Genome Biology 16: 76. Open Access


Bourke AFG (2014) The gene's-eye view, major transitions and the formal darwinism project. Biology & Philosophy 29: 241-248 (Comment on Grafen A. 2014. Biology & Philosophy 29: 155-174)

Bourke AFG (2014) Hamilton's rule and the causes of social evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B 369: 20130362.

Crowther LP, Hein P-L, Bourke AFG (2014) Habitat and forage associations of a naturally colonising insect pollinator, the Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum. PLoS One 9: e107568. Open Access

Dreier S, Redhead JW, Warren IA, Bourke AFG, Heard MS, Jordan WC, Sumner S, Wang J, Carvell C (2014) Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of common and declining bumble bees across an agricultural landscape. Molecular Ecology 23: 3384-3395. Open Access

Ferguson-Gow H, Sumner S, Bourke AFG, Jones KE (2014) Colony size predicts division of labour in attine ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 281: 20141411. Open Access

Friend LA, Bourke AFG (2014) Workers respond to unequal likelihood of future reproductive opportunities in an ant. Animal Behaviour 97: 165-176.

Zanette LRS, Miller SDL, Faria CMA, Lopez-Vaamonde C, Bourke AFG (2014) Bumble bee workers drift to conspecific nests at field scales. Ecological Entomology 39: 347-354.


Bourke AFG (2013) Genes and queens. Nature 493: 612-613. (N&V Forum article)

Holland JG, Guidat FS, Bourke AFG (2013) Queen control of a key life-history event in a eusocial insect. Biology Letters 9: 20130056.


Bourke AFG (2012) Kin selection. In: Oxford Bibliographies Online: Ecology. Ed. D Gibson. Oxford University Press, New York.

Broadbent AAD, Bourke AFG (2012) The bumblebee Bombus hortorum is the main pollinating visitor to Digitalis purpurea (Common Foxglove) in a U.K. population. Journal of Pollination Ecology 8: 48-51.

Carvell C, Jordan WC, Bourke AFG, Pickles R, Redhead JW, Heard MS  (2012) Molecular and spatial analyses reveal links between colony-specific foraging distance and landscape-level resource availability in two bumblebee species. Oikos 121: 734-742.

Friend LA, Bourke AFG (2012) Absence of within-colony kin discrimination in a multiple-queen ant, Leptothorax acervorum. Ethology 118: 1182-1190.

Zanette LRS, Miller SDL, Faria CMA, Almond EJ, Huggins TJ, Jordan WC, Bourke AFG (2012) Reproductive conflict in bumblebees and the evolution of worker policing. Evolution 66: 3765-3777.


Bourke AFG (2011) Principles of Social Evolution. Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution (eds, P.H. Harvey, R.M. May, C.H. Godfray and J.A. Dunne), Oxford University Press, Oxford. xii + 267 pp.

Bourke AFG (2011) The validity and value of inclusive fitness theory. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 278: 3313-3320.

Carvell C, Osborne JL, Bourke AFG, Freeman SN, Pywell RF, Heard MS (2011) Bumble bee species' responses to a targeted conservation measure depend on landscape context and habitat quality. Ecological Applications 21: 1760–1771.


Charman TG, Sears J, Green RE, Bourke AFG (2010) Conservation genetics, foraging distance and nest density of the scarce Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus). Molecular Ecology 19: 2661-2674.

Rees SD, Orledge GM, Bruford MW, Bourke AFG (2010) Genetic structure of the Black Bog Ant (Formica picea Nylander) in the United Kingdom. Conservation Genetics 11: 823-834.


Bourke AFG (2009) The kin structure of sexual interactions. Biology Letters 5: 689-692.

Bourke A (2009) Darwinism versus Intelligent Design. Eastern Daily Press (No. 42,962, Tuesday 3 February 2009)

Charman TG, Sears J, Bourke AFG, Green RE (2009) Phenology of Bombus distinguendus in the Outer Hebrides. The Glasgow Naturalist 25 (Supplement): 35-42.

Lopez-Vaamonde C, Raine NE, Koning JW, Brown RM, Pereboom JJM, Ings TC, Ramos-Rodriguez O, Jordan WC, Bourke AFG (2009) Lifetime reproductive success and longevity of queens in an annual social insect. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22: 983-996.


Bourke AFG (2008) Social evolution: daily self-sacrifice by worker ants. Current Biology 18: R1100-1101.

Bourke AFG (2008) Book review: Korb J, Heinze J (eds) 2008: The ecology of social evolution. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Myrmecological News 11: 200.


Bourke AFG (2007) Kin selection and the evolutionary theory of aging. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. 38: 103-128.

Bourke AFG (2007) Social evolution: community policing in insects. Current Biology 17: R519-R520.

Heard MS, Carvell C, Carreck NL, Rothery P, Osborne JL, Bourke AFG (2007) Landscape context not patch size determines bumble-bee density on flower mixtures sown for agri-environment schemes. Biology Letters 3: 638-641.

Lopez-Vaamonde C, Brown RM, Lucas ER, Pereboom JJM, Jordan WC, Bourke AFG (2007) Effect of the queen on worker reproduction and new queen production in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Apidologie 38: 171-180.


Hammond RL, Bruford MW, Bourke AFG (2006) A test of reproductive skew models in a field population of a multiple-queen ant. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 61: 265-275.


Bourke AFG (2005) Genetics, relatedness and social behaviour in insect societies. In: Fellowes MDE, Holloway GJ, Rolff J (eds) Insect Evolutionary Ecology. CABI Publishing, Wallingford. pp. 1-30.

Bourke A (2005) Insects triumphant!  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20: 288-289 [Review of Grimaldi D, Engel MS (2005) Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge]

Pereboom JJM, Jordan WC, Sumner S, Hammond RL, Bourke AFG (2005) Differential gene expression in queen-worker caste determination in bumblebees. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 272: 1145-1152.


Bourke AFG (2004) Social insects.  In: Hutchins M, Evans AV, Garrison RW, Schlager N, eds, Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, 2nd edition. Volume 3, Insects. Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. pp. 67-73.

Lopez-Vaamonde C, Koning JW, Jordan WC, Bourke AFG (2004) A test of information use by reproductive bumblebee workers. Animal Behaviour 68: 811-818.

Lopez-Vaamonde C, Koning JW, Brown RM, Jordan WC, Bourke AFG (2004) Social parasitism by male-producing reproductive workers in a eusocial insect. Nature 430: 557-560.


Chapman RE, Wang J, Bourke AFG (2003) Genetic analysis of spatial foraging patterns and resource sharing in bumble bee pollinators. Molecular Ecology 12: 2801-2808.

Hammond RL, Bruford MW, Bourke AFG (2003) Male parentage does not vary with colony kin structure in a multiple-queen ant. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 16: 446-455.

Holehouse KA, Hammond RL, Bourke AFG (2003) Non-lethal sampling of DNA from bumble bees for conservation genetics. Insectes Sociaux 50: 277-285.

Lopez-Vaamonde C, Koning JW, Jordan WC, Bourke AFG (2003) No evidence that reproductive bumblebee workers reduce the production of new queens. Animal Behaviour 66: 577-584.


Bourke AFG (2002) Genetics of social behaviour in fire ants. Trends in Genetics 18: 221-223.

Hammond RL, Bruford MW, Bourke AFG (2002) Ant workers selfishly bias sex ratios by manipulating female development. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 269: 173-178.


Bourke AFG (2001) Social insects and selfish genes. Biologist 48: 205-208.

Bourke AFG (2001) Reproductive skew and split sex ratios in social Hymenoptera. Evolution 55: 2131-2136.

Bourke AFG, Ratnieks FLW (2001) Kin-selected conflict in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 268: 347-355.

Chapman RE, Bourke AFG (2001) The influence of sociality on the conservation biology of social insects. Ecology Letters 4: 650-662.

Hammond RL, Bourke AFG, Bruford MW (2001) Mating frequency and mating system of the polygynous ant, Leptothorax acervorum. Molecular Ecology 10: 2719-2728.


Bourke AFG (1999) Colony size, social complexity and reproductive conflict in social insects. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 12: 245-257.

Bourke AFG, Chan GL (1999) Queen-worker conflict over sexual production and colony maintenance in perennial social insects. American Naturalist 154: 417-426.

Bourke AFG, Ratnieks FLW (1999) Kin conflict over caste determination in social Hymenoptera. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 46: 287-297.

Chan GL, Hingle A, Bourke AFG (1999) Sex allocation in a facultatively polygynous ant: between-population and between-colony variation. Behavioral Ecology 10: 409-421.


Bourke AFG (1997) Sociality and kin selection in insects. In: Krebs JR, Davies NB (eds) Behavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach, 4th edition. Blackwell, Oxford. pp. 203-227.

Bourke AFG (1997) Sex ratios in bumble bees. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B 352: 1921-1933.

Bourke AFG (1997) Hymenopteran sex allocation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 12: 488-489.

Bourke AFG, Green HAA, Bruford MW (1997) Parentage, reproductive skew and queen turnover in a multiple-queen ant analysed with microsatellites. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 264: 277-283.


Bourke AFG (1995) Further evidence of lack of pheromonal inhibition among queens of the ant Leptothorax acervorum. Ethology 101: 46-50.

Bourke AFG, Franks NR (1995) Social Evolution in Ants. Monographs in Behavior and Ecology (eds, J.R. Krebs and T.H. Clutton-Brock), Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. xiii + 529 pp.

Heinze J, Lipski N, Hölldobler B, Bourke AFG (1995). Geographical variation in the social and genetic structure of the ant Leptothorax acervorum. Zoology 98: 127-135.


Bourke A (1994) Queen number and sociality in insects. Animal Behaviour 48: 1246. [Review of Keller L (ed.) (1993) Queen Number and Sociality in Insects. Oxford University Press, Oxford]

Bourke A (1994) Behaviour and social evolution of wasps. Journal of Animal Ecology 63: 497. [Review of Itô Y (1993) Behaviour and Social Evolution of Wasps. The Communal Aggregation Hypothesis. Oxford University Press, Oxford]

Bourke AFG (1994) Worker matricide in social bees and wasps. Journal of Theoretical Biology 167: 283-292.

Bourke AFG (1994) Indiscriminate egg cannibalism and reproductive skew in a multiple-queen ant. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 255: 55-59.

Bourke AFG, Chan GL (1994) Split sex ratios in ants with multiple mating. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 9: 120-122.

Bourke AFG, Heinze J (1994) The ecology of communal breeding: the case of multiple-queen leptothoracine ants. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B 345: 359-372.

Chan GL, Bourke AFG (1994) Split sex ratios in a multiple-queen ant population. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 258: 261-266.


Bourke AFG (1993) Lack of experimental evidence for pheromonal inhibition of reproduction among queens in the ant Leptothorax acervorum. Animal Behaviour 45: 501-509.

Bourke A (1993) Cannibalism. Animal Behaviour 45: 835. [Review of Elgar MA, Crespi BJ (eds.) (1992) Cannibalism. Ecology and Evolution among Diverse Taxa. Oxford Science Publications, Oxford]


Bourke A (1992) Adaptive significance of avian helping behaviour. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 7: 102.


Bourke AFG (1991) Queen behaviour, reproduction and egg-cannibalism in multiple-queen colonies of the ant Leptothorax acervorum. Animal Behaviour 42: 295-310.

Bourke A (1991) Advances in myrmecology. Antenna 15(1): 26‑27 (January 1991). [Review of Trager JC (ed.) (1988) Advances in Myrmecology. EJ Brill, Leiden]

Bourke A (1991) The biology of the naked mole‑rat. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 6: 171-172 (May 1991). [Review of Sherman PW, Jarvis JUM, Alexander RD (eds.) (1991) The Biology of the Naked Mole‑Rat. Princeton University Press, Princeton]

Bourke AFG, Franks NR (1991) Alternative adaptations, sympatric speciation, and the evolution of parasitic, inquiline ants. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 43: 157-178.


Bourke A (1990) Colonial clockwork. Times Higher Education Supplement No. 940 p. 24 (9 November 1990). [Review of Hölldobler B, Wilson EO (1990) The Ants. Springer Verlag, Berlin]

Franks NR, Ireland B, Bourke AFG (1990) Conflicts, social economics and life history strategies in ants. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 27: 175-181.


Bourke AFG (1989) Comparative analysis of sex investment ratios in slave-making ants. Evolution 43: 913-918.

Davies NB, Bourke AFG, Brooke M de L (1989) Cuckoos and parasitic ants: interspecific brood parasitism as an evolutionary arms race. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 4: 274-278. 


Bourke AFG (1988) Dominance orders, worker reproduction, and queen-worker conflict in the slave-making ant Harpagoxenus sublaevis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 23: 323-333.


Bourke AFG (1988) Worker reproduction in the higher eusocial Hymenoptera. Quarterly Review of Biology 63: 291-311.

Bourke A (1988) From individual to collective behaviour in social insects. Biologist 35 (3): 164 (June 1988). [Review of Pasteels JM, Deneubourg J‑L (eds.) (1987) From Individual to Collective Behavior in Social Insects. Birkhauser Verlag, Basel]

Bourke AFG, Have TM van der, Franks NR (1988) Sex ratio determination and worker reproduction in the slave-making ant Harpagoxenus sublaevis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 23: 233-245. [Erratum: BES (1989) 25: 235‑236]

Franks N, Bourke A (1988) Slaves of circumstance. New Scientist 119: (1627): 45-49 (25 August 1988).


Allies AB, Bourke AFG, Franks NR (1986) Propaganda substances in the cuckoo ant Leptothorax kutteri and the slave-maker Harpgoxenus sublaevis. Journal of Chemical Ecology 12: 1285-1293.

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