Professor Alastair Wilson from University of Exeter who will be the opponent in Simon Eckerström Liedholm's PhD defence will be giving a talk entitled "Conflict as a constraint? The genetics of animal contests".

Social behaviours depend on interactions between the phenotypes – and so by extension – the genotypes of conspecifics. This gives rise to a phenomenon known as Indirect Genetic Effects (IGE) which occur any time that the phenotype of one individuals depends on the genotype of its social partner. IGE can have interesting (and sometimes surprising) consequences for the evolution of all sorts of social interaction – from cooperation to competition. In this talk I will focus on how IGE play an important role in determining the consequences of animal contests, and argue that – in addition to shaping behaviours like aggressiveness, they could be an important source of evolutionary constraint on fitness-traits that depend on the outcome of competition.


All are welcome!