Nck Barton received his PhD from the University of East Anglia in 1979 and has held faculty positions at University College London and the University of Edinburgh. He became the first professor at IST Austria in 2008. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a recipient of the Darwin-Wallace Medal. Barton and his group study diverse topics in evolutionary genetics, but focus on the evolution of populations that are distributed through space, and that experience natural selection on many genes. Understanding how species adapt and how they split into new species requires understanding of spatial subdivision, whilst interactions between genes are important in species formation and in the response to selection. The recent flood of genomic data makes analysis of the interactions amongst large numbers of genes essential.