Staff – Department of Biology - University of Copenhagen

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David Richard Nash

David Richard Nash

Associate Professor

  • Ecology and Evolution

    Universitetsparken 15, 2100 København Ø, Bygning 12, 1. sal


    Phone: +45 35 32 13 23Mobile: +45 23 71 89 73Fax: +45 35 32 12 50

Current research

My research interests are in the coevolution of interactions between organisms, ranging from mutualism to parasitism. I am particularly interested in how coevolution occurs around the border between cooperation and exploitation.

Most of my research is on butterflies in the family Lycaenidae, which are one of the few groups that show the full range of symbiotic interactions in their associations with ants. I am currently studying specificity and communication between parasitic Maculinea butterflies and their Myrmica ant hosts in Denmark and Sweden, and ants that are social parasites of other ants both in Denmark and the neotropics. I use Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry to examine the surface hydrocarbons of ants and their associates, as these are the signals that are used by the ants themselves to distinguish between friends and foes. I also use field surveys and population genetic techniques to investigate patterns of coevolution.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with some of my fieldwork, or in doing a bachelor or speciale project, please take a look at my projects page:

I am also coordinating the themes "Communication and recognition" and "social parasitism" for the Centre for Social Evolution.

Primary fields of research

Coevolution, Symbiosis, Evolutionary Ecology, Conservation Biology


I coordinate the courses "Conservation" (Bachelor level) and "Conservation Biology" (Masters' level). I also teach "Evolutionary Ecology" (Masters' level) and "Experimental Design and Statistics" (Bachelor & Masters' level).

ID: 1688033