Cooperation in natural and experimental populations of bacteria and insects
Cooperation occurs at all level of biological organisation. Genes cooperate to form genomes, bacteria cells cooperate to overcome their hosts, and animals form cooperative societies. At the same time, individuals are selected to maximise their selfish gains from other members of the group. This project will investigate the evolutionary forces that lead to cooperation and conflict. Depending upon the interests of the student, the project could be taken in a number of directions, especially: (1) Exploiting genomic data to study cooperation and conflict in natural populations of bacteria; (2) Theoretical modelling of cooperation and conflict - especially division of labour; (3) Experimental studies of division of labour in bacteria; (4) Across species comparative studies in bacteria or animals, on cooperation and division of labour. To get an idea of the specifics of what we do, see recent papers at http://zoo-web02.zoo.ox.ac.uk/group/west/pubs.html.
Application procedure details at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/dphil-zoology?wssl=1. The application deadline is 25th January 2019.
Funding is competitive, via either University/Departmental Studentships or Doctoral Training Centres (https://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/graduate-study).
[PDF files at http://zoo-web02.zoo.ox.ac.uk/group/west/pubs.html]
Cooper, G.A. & West, S.A. (2018) Division of labour and the evolution of extreme specialisation. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 10.1038.
Ghoul, M., Anderson, S.B. & West, S.A. (2017) Sociomics: using omic approaches to understand social evolution. Trends in Genetics 33, 408-419.
Cornwallis, C.K., Botero, C.A., Rubenstein, D.R., Downing, P.A., West, S.A., & Grifin, A.S. (2017) Cooperation facilitates the colonization of harsh environments. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1:0057.
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FTE Category A staff submitted: 223.80
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