Evolution of cooperative traits in structured populations
The ability to replicate fast is an essential aspect of most bacterial species. We previously investigated the consequences of this growth dynamics for the evolution of cooperative traits in structured microbial populations. In evolutionary theory, many studies have investigated the different conditions which allow to overcome the tragedy of the commons such that cooperative behavior (the costly provision of benefits to others) becomes an evolutionary stable trait: Almost since the original formulation of the theory of evolution, there is an ongoing debate on the role of group- and kin-selection to stabilize cooperation. To understand how cooperative traits are stably maintained in microbial populations, we specifically considered the selective consequences of the bacterial life-cycle were phases of growth and arrest interchange.
We recently wrote an extended review about the topic.
Major original publications are listed below.