Thursday 16 January 2020, 1.00PM

Speaker(s): Ben Ashby, University of Bath

Parasites are ubiquitous in the natural world and are likely to be a key driver of host evolution, not only for traits clearly related to disease (e.g. resistance, tolerance), but also for host sociality, reproductive strategies, and mate choice. Antagonistic coevolution - a process of reciprocal adaptations by hosts to defend against parasitism and counter-adaptations by parasites to overcome or avoid host defences - is critical to understanding these biological phenomena, because having a constantly changing antagonist can induce very strong selection and lead to the rapid emergence of novel traits. Here, I will focus on the link between host-parasite coevolution and two major questions in evolutionary biology: (1) why do so many organisms reproduce sexually? And: (2) what role does parasitism play in mate choice? I will also discuss the importance of ecological dynamics in shaping evolutionary outcomes, and what this means for our understanding of the role parasites play in the evolution of host reproductive strategies.


Apologies, but unfortunately this seminar has been cancelled.



Location: Dianna Bowles Lecture Theatre B/K/018