Category Archives: Coevolution

Evolution 2014: Day 1

My first session of the day was spent entirely in a Symbiosis session. I am fascinated by symbiosis, particularly mutualistic symbiosis, so I am always looking for cool new stories to help illustrate the concept for my students. This session featured … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Film & Video, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Mating systems, Microbial Ecology, Mutualism, Parasitism, Phylogenetics, Predation, Science in Art & Design, Sexual Selection, Society for the Study of Evolution | Tagged | Leave a comment

Evolution 2014: Could the right symbionts provide protection from chytrid infection to amphibians?

Patrick McLaughlin showed work on Bioko Island suggesting that frogs there may be protected from the ill effects of chytrid infection by the presence of bacterial symbionts. These symbionts produce metabolites that lower rates of parasitic infection, suggesting that symbionts … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Biodiversity Loss, Coevolution, Competition, Conferences, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Invasive Species, Mutualism, Parasitism, Society for the Study of Evolution | Tagged | Leave a comment

Evolution 2014: Are island mutualist communities more likely to be nested because they are inherently more unstable?

The interactions in ecological communities can be structured in a variety of ways, and recently there has been a push to categorize these networks along the spectrum between modular (smaller clusters of more specialized interactions) and nested (unclustered networks with … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Mutualism, Mutualistic Networks, Society for the Study of Evolution | Tagged | Leave a comment

Evolution 2014: Lemurs display huge diet diversity, and their gut microbes track this diversity

Erin McKenney of Duke University talked about three lemur species with different diets: a frugivore (fruit-eater), a generalist, and a folivore (leaf-eater). Not surprisingly their gut morphologies and passing times vary with their diet, but McKenney showed that they also … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Mutualism, Primates, Society for the Study of Evolution | Tagged | Leave a comment

Evolution 2014: Aphids protect themselves from parasitoids by harboring a bacteria whose viral parasite is toxic

Andrew Smith of Drexel University spoke about a four-species interaction that could best be described as “my symbiont’s enemy is my parasitoid’s toxic enemy” scenario. Aphids can avoid being parasitized by a parasitoid wasp if they harbor particular bacterial strains. What’s interesting … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Mutualism, Parasitism, Predation, Society for the Study of Evolution | Tagged | Leave a comment

Evolution 2014: Day 0

I started off this year’s Evolution meeting early. The conference is — at its core —  a four-day affair. But the days leading into the “official” start on Friday evening feature larger workshops aimed at building skills. I chose to … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Adaptation, Assessment Methods, Behavior, Coevolution, Competition, Conferences, Cooperation, Evolution, Evolution Education, Evolutionary Modeling, Genetics, Grants & Funding, Higher Education, Individual-based Models, Lesson Ideas, Multilevel Selection, Natural Selection, Phylogenetics, Population Genetics, Population Growth, Predation, Reproductive Fitness, Science in Art & Design, Sex and Reproduction, Society for the Study of Evolution, Talks & Seminars, Teaching, Teaching Tools | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hawaiian crickets converge on the same solution to eavesdropping parasites

The New York Times “On Separate Islands, Crickets Go Silent“

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Coevolution, Convergence, Evolution, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Natural Selection, Phylogenetics | Leave a comment

Is “nest parasitism” really “nest mutualism”?

NPR All Things Considered “This Freeloading Bird Brings Help — And The Help Smells Gross” It is hard to believe that feeding an entire extra non-offspring would be in the self-interest of a bird, but as this short points out, costs … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Behavior, Birds, Coevolution, Mutualism, Parasitism, Predation, Quantifying Costs and Benefits, Radio & Podcasts | Leave a comment

If sloths endure costs to maintain closed-loop agricultural systems, why can’t we?

The New York Times “The Sloth’s Busy Inner Life” This is a great story about how paradoxical behaviors can be understood through appreciating mutualisms. If you don’t understand the benefits of algae to sloths and sloths to algae,  you can’t understand … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Closed Loop Systems, Coevolution, Community Ecology, Composting, Mutualism, Predation, Quantifying Costs and Benefits, Tropical Forest | Leave a comment

Once considered clear, the line between ecological and evolutionary time scales is becoming more blurry

The Chronicle of Higher Education “What Darwin Got Wrong” Great article on the importance of better understanding rapid and/or fluctuating evolution! The number of applications to applied human issues is fascinating.

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Climate Change, Coevolution, Community Ecology, Fluidity of Knowledge, Freshwater Ecosystems, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Interactions, Invasive Species, Natural Selection, Pollution, Population Genetics, Predation, Resistance Evolution in Parasites, Rivers & Streams | Leave a comment

In bird reproduction, parasitism and cooperation coevolve

Science “How Cooperation Defeats Cheats” Science “Brood Parasitism and the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in Birds” Live Science “How Birds Cooperate to Defeat Cuckoos” It is fascinating that being a cooperative breeder is both attractive to parasites (because they can achieve better … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Coevolution, Cooperation, Cooperative Breeding, Phylogenetics | Leave a comment

Scientific American “Tiny Plants” article provides a primer on the inter-relationship between ecological and evolutionary change

I am always on the lookout for great popular science articles to assign to my students. What makes a popular science article great? Well, to start with it should address concepts that are core to my classes (admittedly, this definition … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Adaptation, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Coevolution, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Experiments (General), Extinction, Habitat Destruction, Interactions, Macroevolution, Marine Ecosystems, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Pollution, Resilience, Sustainability, Terrestrial | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Caterpillars weaponize nicotine

The Economist “Caterpillars that blow nicotine at their enemy” I love the combination of genetic manipulation and “arena of death” wolf-spider gauntlet that led to these findings.

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Interactions, Parasitism, Predation, Resistance Evolution in Parasites | Leave a comment

Should we emulate the cooperative and conservative habits of the sloth?

Inhabitat “The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency?“

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Coevolution, Green Design, Mutualism, Tropical Forest, Web | Leave a comment

Additional evidence that obesity may be due to environment, not just habits

NPR Shots “Gut Bacteria We Pick Up As Kids Stick With Us For Decades” NPR Shots “Staying Healthy May Mean Learning To Love Our Microbiomes” NPR Shots “Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together” NPR Shots “How … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Coevolution, Cultural Evolution, Health & Medicine, Human Evolution, Mismatch theory, Mutualism, Radio & Podcasts | Tagged | Leave a comment

A tour of your diverse microbiome, and the things that might deplete that diversity

NPR Morning Edition “From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint” It’s a bit corny, but this is a great tour of our diverse microbiome. It is critical that people start to recognize how potentially-damaging overuse of antibiotics … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Coevolution, Human Evolution, Mismatch theory, Mutualism, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity | Tagged | Leave a comment

Zero determinant strategy is just another short-term adaptation

The Scientist “A Twist in Evolutionary Game Theory: Biologists demonstrate the instability of employing a selfish strategy in the prisoner’s dilemma game” Nature Communications “Evolutionary instability of zero-determinant strategies demonstrates that winning is not everything” I am so glad to … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Coevolution, Cooperation, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Individual-based Models, Phenotypic Plasticity, Punishment, Reciprocity, System Stability | Leave a comment

Dog license dataset opens up huge potential for understanding the dog-human mutualism

WNYC “NYC’s Top Dogs: Mapping Names & Breeds in the City” WNYC “Dogs of NYC” Data sets like these, even flawed by their incompleteness (only 20% of dogs in New York City are registered) are fascinating. The human relationship with dogs has … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Canids, Coevolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Geography, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Mutualism, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Web | Leave a comment

National Geographic feature on penguin propulsion

This month’s National Geographic features a valuable article called “Escape Velocity” that chronicles how Emperor Penguins reach incredible velocities to launch through holes in the ice and out into safety. Mostly a pictorial featuring Paul Nicklen’s amazing underwater photography, the article shows … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Coevolution, Marine Ecosystems, Polar Marine, Predation | Leave a comment

Making the formation of social networks more realistic also makes them more cooperative

Physical Review E “Building cooperative networks“

Posted in A Minor Post, Articles, Coevolution, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Social Networks | Tagged | Leave a comment