Previous research includes:

  1. Evolution of cooperation in groups
    Although the evolutionary forces that can support the spread of cooperative or mutually beneficial social interactions are fairly well understood, a systematic framework for how to explore proximate mechanisms for such cooperation that is amenable to evolutionary analysis is lacking.  In collaboration with Erol Akçay, we have developed a system of studying behavioral objectives that can clarify the ecological requirements for cooperative interactions.
  2. Evolution in variable environments and bet-hedging
    We have explored the role that trade offs and fitness asymmetries can have on the conditions for the evolution of bet-hedging.  This is of particular relevance to microbial evolution as many microbiologists see random variations in gene expression, a kind of bet-hedging, as a common way for microbes to adapt to variable environments.
  3. Evolution of genomic imprinting
    Using tools from population genetics and evolutionary theory, we have explored factors that could explain the evolution of imprinting including genetic interactions such as dominance and a host of demographic factors including sex-specific selection, sex-specific migration, and generation overlap.  We have also studied the dynamic effects of imprinting, which include the possibility of complex dynamics and chaos.