Inclusive fitness in evolutionary modeling (10w5017)


(Queen's University)

(University of Oxford)

(University of Western Ontario)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Inclusive fitness in evolutionary modeling" workshop from June 13 to 18, 2010.

Over the past 40 years a new set of mathematical ideas and tools have been developed which have transformed and rejuvenated the study of social behaviour, both organismal and human. The fundamental physical idea is that behaviour evolves under a selective regime which rewards those behaviours which are fitter leading to an increase in their future frequency in the population. In biology this is the study of evolutionary ecology and one of the recent explosions in this field is the study of the evolution of host-pathogen interactions in infectious disease models. In economics and psychology, we use these tools to understand the tension between cooperative behaviour and self-interest and how this shapes markets and community. Mathematically the tools used are a combination of game theory, probability and dynamical systems.

A key parameter in these models is the extent to which interactants have similar objectives, and in biology, genetic relatedness is a reliable indicator of this. The point is that to the extent that behaviour is genetically determined, individuals with a high probability of sharing genes will interact in a way that is likely to increase the frequency of these genes. Inclusive fitness is a method of analysis which uses this relatedness concept as a powerful summary variable, thus achieving substantial technical simplification and conceptual clarification. The purpose of the workshop is to gather together the leading researchers working with this theory to discuss its strengths and weaknesses, what it has become and where it ought to be headed.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT).