Category Archives: Coevolution

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, Ecology for Architects, 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

Lee Alan Dugatkin blesses Slate with a piece on Kropotkin

Slate “The Russian Anarchist Prince Who Challenged Evolution” I really appreciate the fact that Dugatkin uses Kropotkin to bring to light that Darwinian evolution has been — even in the time and work of Darwin — a process that was … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Behavior, Biography, Coevolution, Competition, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Ethics, Evolution, Mutualism, Political Science, Predation, Religion, Taiga (Boreal Forest), Tundra, Web | Leave a comment

Megan Frederickson shares the wonder of ant cooperation with Toronto Library patrons

Toronto Public Library/University of Toronto Exploring Evolution series “The Evolution of Cooperation: Ant-Plant Associations in Peru” We need more scientists out there explaining the wonders of evolutionary biology!

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Coevolution, Competition, Cooperation, Evolution, Interactions, Keystone Species, Mutualism, Parasitism, Predation, Public Outreach, Social Networks, Tropical Forest | Leave a comment

Does anthropogenic change make natives into invaders?

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment “Native invaders – challenges for science, management, policy, and society” This article makes an important point: the “alien” criteria for invasives is a bit arbitrary when the problem with invasives is their ability to … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Coevolution, Competition, Ecology, Habitat Destruction, Invasive Species, Pollution, Predation | Leave a comment

Rachel Carson still under attack for bringing her values to bear on her science

Slate “Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans: How the 50-year-old campaign against Silent Spring still distorts environmental debates” There is a lot of interesting stuff here, including a fascinating view into how scientific findings get processed by the public (both … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Biography, Chemistry, Coevolution, Ecology, Environmental Justice, Evolution, Health & Medicine, Pollution, Public Outreach, Public Policy, Resistance Evolution in Parasites, Web | Leave a comment

National Geographic on the yartsa gunbu bubble

National Geographic “Tibetan Gold” This story encapsulates a whole host of unsustainable human behaviors: First, we have people over-harvesting an ecological product in a manner that risks its collapse; Second, the over-harvesting is driven by a cultural superstition that has spread … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Belief, Biodiversity Loss, Coevolution, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Ecology, Economic sustainability, Ecosystem Services, Memetic Fitness, Parasitism, Population Growth, Resource Consumption, Sustainable Harvesting, System Stability, Tundra | Leave a comment

Perhaps nestedness is just an artifact of ecological opportunity (and not stability)

One of my chief interests is stability: I am curious about what allows for the persistence of genes, individuals, groups, species, and communities. This is a broad question and it may not have single, simple answer, but it is exciting … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Articles, Coevolution, Ecological Modeling, Interactions, Mutualism, Mutualistic Networks, Pollination, System Stability | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Steven Pinker makes it clear that he is not a “group selectionist”

Frequently I feel like I am listening to an early 2000′s George W. Bush speech when the ‘opponents of group selection’ step up to the podium. Seemingly, you are either “with us or against us” when it comes to considering … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Adaptation, Coevolution, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, Kin Selection, Memetic Fitness, Multilevel Selection, Natural Selection, Punishment, Web | 5 Comments

“Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence” exhibit at the American Museum on Natural History

Today I had the pleasure of accompanying my daughter’s fourth grade class to the “Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence” exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. Beyond making sure that all students returned home safely, I was also interested … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Coevolution, Competition, Convergence, Cooperation, Evolution, Interactions, Marine Ecosystems, Museum design, Museums & Zoos, Mutualism, Phylogenetics, Predation, Sex and Reproduction, Terrestrial | Leave a comment