Life history; Microbial population dynamics; Evolutionary game theory; Sexual reproduction; Dioecy
Richter Xiang‐Yi Li, Hollis Brian (2021), Softness of selection and mating system interact to shape trait evolution under sexual conflict, in Evolution
, 75, 2335-2347.
Li Xiang‐Yi, Kokko Hanna (2021), Sexual dimorphism driven by intersexual resource competition: why is it rare, and where to look for it?, in Journal of Animal Ecology
, 90(8), 1831-1843.
Li Xiang-Yi, Morozov Andrew, Goymann Wolfgang (2021), Coevolution of female fidelity and male help in populations with alternative reproductive tactics, in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
, 288(1943), 20202371-20202371.
Ruzicka Filip, Dutoit Ludovic, Czuppon Peter, Jordan Crispin Y., Li Xiang-Yi, Olito Colin, Yazdi Homa Papoli, Runemark Anna, Svensson Erik I, Connallon Tim (2020), The search for sexually antagonistic genes: Practical insights from studies of local adaptation and statistical genomics, in Evolution Letters
, 4(5), 398-415.
Cohen Alan A., Coste Christophe F. D., Li Xiang-Yi, Bourg Salomé, Pavard Samuel (2020), Are trade‐offs really the key drivers of ageing and life span?, in Functional Ecology
LI Xiang-Yi, KokkoHanna (2019), Intersexual Resource Competition and the Evolution of Sex-Biased Dispersal, in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
, 7, 111.
Evolutionary game theory provides a powerful modelling framework for understanding natural selection, sexual selection and adaptation. It has been widely used to study frequency-dependent biological interactions, including the complex population dynamics of microbial communities and their widespread ramifications. But there are still significant knowledge gaps: (1) population demographic structure and life history tradeoffs are rarely considered in evolutionary game theory models, despite their crucial roles in driving evolutionary dynamics; (2) classic evolutionary game theory models are largely based on the assumption of clonal reproduction, although sexual reproduction in populations with distinct males and females (dioecy) is extremely prevalent in nature; (3) microbial dispersal and interactions in spatially heterogeneous environments are less understood than in well-mixed cultures, and quantitative and predictive models of the environmentally important bacterial-fungi interactions are still missing.My aims of the Ambizione project are to fill in these knowledge gaps, enriching evolutionary game theory with crucial biological factors, and applying it together with other modelling tools to study microbial growth, interactions and dispersal in spatially heterogeneous environments. It divides into 3 subprojects: (A) to integrate age-structure into evolutionary game theory models, (B) to study evolutionary games in dioecious populations, and (C) to apply evolutionary game theory and other modelling approaches to study bacterial colony growth, dispersal and interactions in heterogeneous environments, in particular, at the bacterial-fungal interface.Subprojects A and B are theoretical in nature. In subproject A, I will study how age structure can affect the fixation probability of mutants in evolutionary games, how life history tradeoffs influence the interactions between age structure and game dynamics, and the role of asymmetric interactions caused by the age differences between individuals in promoting cooperation in repeated games. In subproject B, I will develop a modelling framework of stochastic game interactions in dioecious populations by first defining a “dioecious Moran process”, and apply it to study population dynamics where different games can be played within the same sex and between different sexes. Subproject C combines experiments and mathematical modelling and it is designed as a PhD project. In this project, my PhD student and I will start from investigating the growth dynamics of bacteria in co-culture colonies, and then move on to study how bacteria disperse through fungal hyphae networks, and finally, build a mechanistic model of bacteria-fungi interactions under different nutrient conditions. The Ambizione project will extend the frontiers of evolutionary game theory, be of interest to both theorists and empiricists, lead to high impact publications, and prepare me and the PhD student for the next career steps.