Abstract: Recent work in my group has focused on two areas of persistent interest in evolutionary biology: how costly cooperation or helping evolves and how the process of adaptation works when evolution must traverse rough fitness landscapes. In this talk, I will present recent work on how cooperation evolves via social norms. Specifically, I will show how the psychological mechanism underlying a social norm is crucial to whether the social norm can evolve in a population or not. I will also present two recent projects involving fitness landscapes. First, will show how rapidly evolving populations cross fitness valleys differently than populations evolving more slowly. Specifically, rapidly evolving populations may be more likely to cross fitness valleys although they may do so more slowly than other populations. Second, I will show how Markov Decision Processes can be used to determine an optimal schedule of antibiotic use when the fitness landscape of a pathogen is known. In this scenario, the optimal schedule will force the pathogen to evolve to the lowest fitness peak among all the fitness landscapes induced by the available antibiotics.
Collins Conference Room
US Mountain Time
Jeremy Van Cleve (University of Kentucky)