"Adaptation by natural selection: a game?" Piret Avila's publication

March 03, 2023 Research

Adaptation by natural selection can be viewed as a game, because the reproductive success of an individual in any species depends on what other individuals in its environment are doing. What are the building blocks of these evolutionary games?

Combining tools from evolutionary game theory and adaptive dynamics, IAST research fellow Piret Avila, together with Charles Mullon, synthesizes different methods to describe how individuals adapt when interacting with each other, in a new working paper here https://ecoevorxiv.org/repository/view/4928/

The paper shows that that two selective forces, directional and disruptive selection, are key to determining whether a population will eventually evolve into a stable state, i.e., be able to withstand invasion from mutant strategies.

The paper provides an introduction to modelling Darwinian evolution in non-trivial populations and shows the connections between distinct fundamental branches of evolutionary biology, such as social evolution, life-history theory, evolutionary ecology, and developmental biology. They hope this work will facilitate further integration of these branches.

This article is part of a special themed issue ‘Half a century of evolutionary games: a synthesis of theory, application and future directions’ in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

To read the paper, see here https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2021.0502 . To find out more about Piret’s work, see piretavila.com

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