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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Towards eco-evolutionary dynamics of dispersal and mating systems in a changing world Event

Greta Bocedi
12 December 2018
Building 44 Room 1041

Event details

Dispersal and mating system are fundamental in determining species’ ecology, evolution and responses to environmental changes. As main drivers of gene flow in space and time, dispersal and mating system determine species’ evolutionary potential by affecting both genetic and individual fitness variation. Dispersal and mating system are therefore likely to be tightly interconnected, influencing each other’s evolution. However, the study of dispersal and mating system has largely proceeded separately, leaving a critical knowledge gap regarding how they jointly evolve and the consequences this might have for how populations, species and communities can respond to environmental change. Inbreeding is key to dispersal-mating system interactions: they both determine inbreeding opportunity, while the balance between inbreeding costs and benefits causes evolution of dispersal and mating system traits. A variety of dispersal-mating system, and hence inbreeding, strategies are observed in nature, but we lack theory that can explain them, undermining our capacity to predict species’ responses to changes. Having worked on both fronts I am now starting to move towards developing new genetically-explicit eco-evolutionary theory on how dispersal and mating system jointly evolve; what the spatial patterns of dispersal-mating system co-variation are; how environmental changes will impact their joint evolution, and what this means for species’ persistence. To achieve this, we need to embrace some of the complexity inherent to interactions among complex behaviours and their associated eco-evolutionary feed-backs. In this talk I will present some of my theoretical work on dispersal and species’ responses to environmental changes, on evolution of female multiple mating and on how I am starting to piece the puzzle together, thinking about how dispersal, female multiple mating and inbreeding may jointly evolve.

Speaker information

Dr Greta Bocedi, Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen

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