“Evolutionary Game Theory and Evolution of Cooperation of Biological Species”
Evolution of cooperation of biological species is an active research area in evolutionary biology and ecology. Evolutionary game theory has been applied successfully to modeling and simulation of evolutionary dynamics of various types. Here, we use a lab-developed population of two yeast strains, called the cooperator and cheater strains, to demonstrate the nature of the game that can be played by the yeast strains and how cooperation can be maintained. We review the lab experiments as well as previous computer simulations. We present our recent simulation results on spatial effects on cooperation of the yeast strains when the interactions among the yeast cells are restricted to their small neighborhood. Our results show that cooperation is increased when the interactions are spatially restricted whether the game is of a prisoner’s dilemma, snow drifting, or mutual benefit type. We also discuss the evolution of homogeneous groups of cooperators or cheaters, and describe the conditions for them to sustain or expand in an opponent population. We show when spatially restricted, cooperator groups are able to sustain and expand as group sizes become large, while cheater groups fail to expand and tend to collapse.
This is joint work with former students Min Wang and Yuanyuan Huang.
Refreshments served at 3:50 pm outside of 1424 MBB.