The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented upheaval to research programmes and academic careers worldwide. In particular, lockdowns and working from home are clearly documented to have adversely affected the careers of those with caring responsibilities (e.g. [1]). Parents who had to combine childcare and home-schooling while maintaining academic work were especially likely to have been negatively impacted, and there is strong evidence that such disruption—like so many impacts of childcare [2]—disproportionately affected mothers (e.g. [3]). Care-giving-related disruption is also particularly likely to have been damaging for early- or mid-career researchers, with those without tenure being most at risk of long-term consequences (e.g. [4]). Inspired by suggestions of ways that the academy might seek to address some of these problems [5], Proceedings B has compiled a Special Feature showcasing research that has been maintained despite such challenges, recognizing the impact of the pandemic on care-givers, with a particular but not exclusive focus on mothers. This Special Feature aims to highlight new research in evolutionary biology, broadly construed, with an emphasis on new questions and emerging approaches. In this introductory article, we summarize its compilation.


Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Cite as

Kruuk, L., Brosnan, S. & Neiman, M. 2022, 'Despite COVID: Showcasing new research in evolutionary biology from academic care-givers in the middle of a pandemic', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 289(1988), article no: 20222131. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2022.2131

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Last updated: 20 December 2022
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