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Towards a more biologically informed evolutionary game theory

Applicant Richter Xiang-Yi
Number 180145
Funding scheme Ambizione
Research institution Institut de Biologie Faculté des Sciences Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022
Approved amount 895'724.00
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Keywords (5)

Life history; Microbial population dynamics; Evolutionary game theory; Sexual reproduction; Dioecy

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Spieltheorie ist die Wissenschaft der strategischen Interaktion und Entscheidungsfindung. Die evolutionäre Spieltheorie wendet Spieltheorie an, um biologische Interaktionen wie Wettbewerb, Konflikt und Kooperation in sich entwickelnden Populationen zu untersuchen. Die klassische evolutionäre Spieltheorie basiert jedoch auf stark vereinfachten Annahmen und ist nicht in der Lage, viele komplexe biologische Phänomene zu erklären oder Vorhersagen zu treffen, die in biologischen Populationen getestet werden können. Dieses Projekt wird wichtige biologische Faktoren integrieren und sich zu einer biologisch fundierteren evolutionären Spieltheorie entwickeln.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Das Projekt besteht aus 3 Teilen. Die Projekte A und B sind theoretischer Natur, in welchen ich die Altersstruktur von Populationen und die Fortpflanzung in die Spieltheorie integrieren werde. Das Projekt C ist eine Doktorarbeit, wo wir die klassische Evolutionstheorie anhand mikrobiologischer Interaktionen studieren werden. Im Speziellen werden wir auf die Interaktion zwischen Pilzen und Bakterien eingehen. Das Ziel des Projekts ist es, ein besser biologisch fundierten theoretischen Rahmen entwickeln, der es zukünftig erlaubt, soziale Interaktionen in Tier- und Menschenpopulationen zu untersuchen.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Evolutionäre Spieltheorie bietet einen leistungsfähigen Modellierungsrahmen zum Studieren sozialer Interaktionen. Die Ergebnisse des Projekts werden nicht nur zur Grundlagenforschung beitragen, sondern auch mögliche Anwendungen zur Lösung biologischer und sozialer Probleme bieten. Zum Beispiel kann das Verständnis der Wechselwirkungen zwischen Bakterien und Pilzen uns helfen, effektive Wege zur Behandlung der Bodenverschmutzung zu finden und Strategien zur Behandlung von Pathogeninfektionen zu finden.

Keywords

Evolutionary game theory, age structure, sexual reproduction, microbial interactions, strategy interactions

 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.09.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Softness of selection and mating system interact to shape trait evolution under sexual conflict
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.
Sexual dimorphism driven by intersexual resource competition: why is it rare, and where to look for it?
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.
Coevolution of female fidelity and male help in populations with alternative reproductive tactics
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.
The search for sexually antagonistic genes: Practical insights from studies of local adaptation and statistical genomics
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.
Are trade‐offs really the key drivers of ageing and life span?
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, 153-166.
Intersexual Resource Competition and the Evolution of Sex-Biased Dispersal
LI Xiang-Yi, KokkoHanna (2019), Intersexual Resource Competition and the Evolution of Sex-Biased Dispersal, in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 7, 111.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Emerging Investigators in Microfluidics (EIMC) Talk given at a conference A 3D-printed microfluidic “bridge” device for active dispersal of flagellated bacteria 20.07.2021 Online conference, Switzerland Kuhn Thierry; Richter Xiang-Yi;
Lecture Series in Ecology and Evolution Individual talk Some applications of evolutionary game theory in understanding biological interactions 30.03.2021 Online, via Zoom, Switzerland Richter Xiang-Yi;
TheBioNet Seminar Series Individual talk Applications of evolutionary game theory in understanding biological interactions 17.03.2021 Online, via Zoom, Switzerland Richter Xiang-Yi;
7th EvoDemo Society Annual Meeting: Evolutionary Demography ​under Global Change​ Talk given at a conference Can population size/age-structures promote the evolution of social competence? 06.10.2020 Røros, Norway Richter Xiang-Yi;
American Naturalist 2020 stand alone meeting Talk given at a conference Intersexual resource competition drives the coevolution of male and female dispersal traits 03.01.2020 Pacific Grove, CA, United States of America Richter Xiang-Yi;
Seewiesen lecture series -- fall/winter 2019/2020 Individual talk Theory models inspired by the life history and ecology of birds 26.09.2019 Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany Richter Xiang-Yi;
ESEB Special Topic Network -- linking local adaptation with the evolution of sex differences Individual talk Introduction to individual-based models 26.08.2019 Cévennes, France Richter Xiang-Yi;
The 2019 Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology Talk given at a conference Coevolution of female fidelity and male help under intralocus sexual conflict 19.08.2019 Turku, Finland Richter Xiang-Yi;
2019 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Symposium Talk given at a conference Coevolution of female fidelity and male help under intralocus sexual conflict 10.07.2019 Ankara, Turkey Richter Xiang-Yi;
Modelling Ecology and Evolution, Zürich (MEEZ2019) Poster Coevolution of female fidelity and male help under intralocus sexual conflict 27.06.2019 Zürich, Switzerland Richter Xiang-Yi;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Life history evolution and sex-specific demography 11.02.2020 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Mathematical modelling of bacterial population dynamics 11.12.2019 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Sex, sociality, and death 03.09.2019 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
in vivo: biologisches konciliabulum! as part of the Biology 20 conference Talk 07.02.2020 Ancienne Gare, Esplanade de l’Ancienne-Gare 3, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland Kuhn Thierry;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Why sex? New Principia International 2019

Abstract

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.
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