• Speaker: Hanna Kokko
  • Title: Is Mother Nature shortsighted?
  • Location: Room V129, Mathematics Building (Callaghan Campus) The University of Newcastle
  • Time and Date: 4:00 pm, Thu, 24th Oct 2013
  • Abstract:

    Popular accounts of evolution typically create an expectation that populations become ever better adapted over time, and some formal treatments of evolutionary processes suggest this too. However, such analyses do not highlight the fact that competition with conspecics has negative population-level consequences too, particularly when individuals invest in success in zero-sum games. My own work is at the interface of theoretical biology and empirical data, and I will discuss several examples where an adaptive evolutionary process leads to something that appears silly from the population point of view, including a heightened risk of extinction in the Gouldian finch, reduced productivity of species in which males do not participate in parental care, and deterministic extinction of local populations in systems that feature sexual parasitism.

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