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Dr. E.R. (Emily) Burdfield Steel

Assistent Professor
Faculty of Science
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Visiting address
  • Science Park 904
  • Room number: C3.207
Postal address
  • Postbus 94240
    1090 GE Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    Insect Chemical and Evolutionary Ecology

    I am interested in how intra- and inter-specific species communication shapes evolutionary processes. My areas of study are the evolution of mating communication systems in response to reproductive interference and the role of chemical defence in aposematic insect populations. I am particularly interested in cases when communication breaks down, and what these “mistakes” can tell us about selection pressures acting on system.

  • Publications


    • Blankers, T., Fruitet, E., Burdfield Steel, E. R., & Groot, A. T. (2022). Experimental evolution of a pheromone signal. Ecology and Evolution, 12(5), [e8941].
    • De Pasqual, C., Groot, A. T., Mappes, J., & Burdfield-Steel, E. (2022). Erratum: Evolutionary importance of intraspecific variation in sex pheromones: (Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 36, 848-859, 2021) (Trends in Ecology & Evolution (2021) 36(9) (848–859), (S0169534721001506), (10.1016/j.tree.2021.05.005)). Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 37(1), 105.
    • Zeeman, A. N., Smallegange, I. M., Steel, E. B., Groot, A. T., & Stewart, K. A. (2022). Toward an understanding of the chemical ecology of alternative reproductive tactics in the bulb mite (Rhizoglyphus robini). BMC ecology and evolution, 22(1), [5].




    • Rojas, B., Mappes, J., & Burdfield-Steel, E. (2019). Multiple modalities in insect warning displays have additive effects against wild avian predators. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 73(3), [37].


    • Gordon, S., & Burdfield Steel, E. R. (2019). [Review of: G.D. Ruxton, W.L. Allen, T.N. Sherratt, M.P. Speed (2018) Avoiding Attack: The Evolutionary Ecology of Crypsis, Aposematism, and Mimicry]. Basic and Applied Ecology, 36, 54-55. [details]


    • Blankers-, T., Burdfield Steel, E. R., Fruitet, E. C. E., & Groot, A. T. (2019). Evolution of sex pheromone communication in response to artificial selection. Poster session presented at Netherlands Society for Evolutionary Biology, Ede, Netherlands.
    • Burdfield Steel, E. R., Blankers-, T., Fruitet, E. C. E., & Groot, A. T. (2019). Coping with change – how can chemical communication systems overcome disruptions?.
    • Fruitet, E. C. E., Blankers-, T., Burdfield Steel, E. R., Heckel, D. G., & Groot, A. T. (2019). How costly it is to be sexy?. Poster session presented at Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Symposium, .

    Talk / presentation

    • Blankers-, T. (speaker), Fruitet, E. (speaker), Burdfield Steel, E. (speaker) & Groot, A. (speaker) (21-6-2021). The selection response of a multicomponent sexual signal, Virtual Evolution 2021.
    • Blankers-, T. (speaker), Groot, A. (speaker), Fruitet, E. (speaker), Burdfield Steel, E. (speaker) & Lievers, R. (speaker) (19-1-2021). Plasticity, variation, and constraint in sex pheromone signals, Netherlands Society for Evolutionary Biology 2021.
    • Blankers-, T. (speaker), Burdfield Steel, E. (speaker), Fruitet, E. (speaker) & Groot, A. (speaker) (13-12-2019). The evolution of sex pheromones, NEV Nederlandse Entomologendag.
    • Burdfield Steel, E. (speaker) (4-7-2019). Colour heritability in a variable aposematic insect, Anti-Predator Coloration Symposium.
    • Burdfield Steel, E. (speaker) (11-2-2019). Diversity in Science - can academic societies lead the way?, International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Paris.


    • Burdfield Steel, E. (organiser) (5-7-2019). Anti-Predator Coloration Symposium. Workshop - Big question in antipredator colouration (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Gao, K. (2020). Sexual selection in a dynamic world: The causes and consequences of variation in sexual signals and responses. [details]


    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities