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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Reproductive conflicts in social insects Seminar

Time:
17:00
Date:
19 March 2012
Venue:
Building 85, Seminar room 2207

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Beatrice Murphy on 023 8059 5374 or email B.J.Murphy@southampton.ac.uk .

Event details

Professor Andrew Bourke will be discussing recent critiques of inclusive fitness theory and his group's work on reproduction by workers in bumble bees, investigating how within-group conflicts of interest may become resolved in colonies of social insects.

The evolution of cooperation underlies the hierarchical structure of life (genes in cells, cells in organisms, organisms in societies). However, in the evolution of social groups, the stability of cooperation is always under threat from the outbreak of conflict. The social insects provide excellent model systems in which to explore the interplay of cooperation and conflict in social evolution, as analysed using the theoretical framework provided by inclusive fitness (kin selection) theory. In this talk I first discuss recent critiques of inclusive fitness theory and I then describe my group's work on reproduction by workers in bumble bees investigating how within-group conflicts of interest may become resolved in colonies of social insects.

The evolution of cooperation

Speaker information

Professor Andrew Bourke, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia. Professor Andrew Bourke conducts 'research on the evolutionary, ecological, behavioural and genetic basis of social behaviour.' He has recently used bees and wasps as study organisms.

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