July 9 (Tue) at 16:00 - 17:00, 2024 (JST)
  • Troy Day (Professor, Head of Department, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Queen's University, Canada)
Ryosuke Iritani

The evolution of spiteful and altruistic behaviour remains a fascinating and somewhat puzzling phenomenon. In recent years there has been interest in examining how stochasticity arising from a finite population size might affect the evolution of these traits. Some results suggest that such stochasticity can reverse the direction of selection and promote the evolution of traits like altruism and spitefulness that are selected against in very large (deterministic) populations. However, other results seem to call this finding into question. In this talk I will consider a simple but quite general model of spite and of altruistic behaviour and examine how demographic stochasticity affects the evolution of these traits. I will show that stochasticity can indeed affect the direction of evolution but not in the way that previous studies have suggested. The results also help to clarify the broader issue of how and why stochasticity can sometimes reverse the direction of evolution.

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