The University of Southampton
Mathematical Sciences

Research project: Evolutionary Biology and Ecology

Currently Active: 

We study evolutionary and ecological dynamics using a range of mathematical techniques from game theory on networks to quantitative genetics. We are interested in understanding basic evolutionary mechanisms, such as transgenerational inheritance, and in how evolution shapes human culture.

Project Overview

Evolution of maternal effects

Evolution of maternal effects

Maternal effects are the influences of the mother's phenotype (the set of her observable characteristics) on her offspring's phenotype by routes other than through the inherited genes. Potentially they provide an additional means of adaptation to changing environmental conditions over and above phenotypic plasticity (the direct adaptation of the individual's phenotype during its lifetime). We have developed a series of models to help understand what the consequences of maternal effects might be and under what circumstances they might be expected to evolve.

Evolution of cooperation

Evolution of cooperation

Cooperation between individuals is influenced by many things including social relationships, the relative rewards of cooperation and non-cooperation, the risk of punishment for antisocial behaviour and learning from others which behaviours are successful. We study how cooperative behaviour is maintained in populations using game theory and models of social interaction, including social networks.

Industrial ecosystems

Industrial ecosystems

Industrial ecology is a multidisciplinary field that draws an analogy between biological ecosystems and the web of relationships between firms, industries, people, environment and governance structures in the economy. We created a model of trade and service interactions in an industrial district, and then extended it to investigate the effect of mutualistic and competitive interactions on the behaviour of Marshallian and hub-and-spoke industrial districts.

Image credits: (b) hiyori13 CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Related research groups

Applied Mathematics
Mathematics in Biology and Medicine


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