Evolutionary and Ecological Systems Biology talks

A web-based seminar series

Join us for a series of seminars about novel and exciting research in evolutionary and ecological systems biology

The next seminar is August 3rd 2021 at 12 PM EDT

Register here to get the new zoom link

Join our mailing list to receive news about speakers, weekly reminders and access the recordings of the talks

Stephen Martis

Hallatschek lab @UC Berkeley

Eco-evolutionary feedback can stabilize multi-strain predator-prey communities

Ecological models with random interactions have provided insight into the problem of diversity, particularly showing that high variance in the distribution of interaction rates can lead to instability, chaos and extinction. However, these models have traditionally neglected evolution, which is central to the generation of biological variation and can act on timescales comparable to ecological change. Here I demonstrate that when an unstable stochastic predator-prey system is coupled to high-dimensional evolutionary dynamics, highly variable interactions counter-intuitively stabilize the population, delaying extinction and increasing the total population size. Using both stochastic and deterministic simulations and theory based on the statistical physics of disordered systems, I show that this stabilizing effect is driven by an eco-evolutionary feedback loop which causes the population size to grow as a power law of the variance of the interaction rates. I demonstrate that the stable regime corresponds with the clonal interference regime of population genetics. Importantly, qualitative aspects of these results should generalize to other evolving complex systems.


Every Tuesday at 12:00 PM ET.

To access the talks via zoom please register at this link. Once you register, you can add the zoom meeting to your calendar and obtain the meeting ID. You need to register only once to access all the talks of the series

The format is a weekly session with two 20-minute talks.

One of the perks of seminars is the possibility of chatting with the other attendees over a coffee or tea. Why not here too? In the 10-minute interval between the two talks, we will break out into virtual rooms for some informal discussion with the participants and the speakers!

Do you want to give a talk?

We are still recruiting speakers for the summer sessions!