Thursday, January 15th, will be our first EEB seminar of the winter term.
Dr. Megan Frederickson will talk to us about
The ecology and evolution of mutualism
at 12:30 in the EEB lounge (BioSciences 4338)
The seminar is hosted by Dr. Shelley Arnott
Research in the Frederickson lab focuses on the ecology and evolution of mutualism, or cooperation between species. Mutualisms are extremely common in nature—so common, in fact, that every plant and animal on Earth may be involved in at least one mutualism. But cooperation is puzzling because it has the potential to be destabilized by selection for “cheating,” or taking the benefits of cooperation without fully reciprocating. The evolution of mutualism is especially perplexing because partners do not share genes, precluding inclusive fitness benefits. The Frederickson lab uses a variety of approaches to study mutualisms involving insects (especially ants), plants, and microbes in both temperate and tropical ecosystems, to broadly characterize the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of mutualisms. I will describe our recent research on “cheating” in mutualisms, trade-offs between investing in multiple mutualisms (e.g., pollination and protection mutualisms), and the role of mutualism in facilitating biological invasions.
Visit Dr. Frederickson’s lab by going to mutualism.ca