Evolution and Ecology

Adaptations are key to understanding living systems, especially in these times of global change. In social systems, behaviors adapt through individual and collective learning. In biological systems, genes adapt through evolution under natural and anthropogenic selection pressures. To address these universal challenges in managing the biosphere, the Evolution and Ecology Program devises, analyzes, and calibrates models of complex adaptive systems.
Objectives
  • Develop new tools for integrating biological, social, and economic dimensions in fisheries assessments.
  • Enrich game-theoretical models for common-good management with real-world complexities including bounded rationality, social heterogeneity, cultural dispositions, and institutional incentives.
  • Help launch the next generation of dynamic vegetation models.
  • Contribute to reconciling polarized conflicts by advancing quantitative stakeholder methods in fisheries management.
  • Coordinate an international consortium defining protocols for integrating evolutionary change in annual fisheries assessments.
  • Build awareness of dangerous biases in recognizing systemic risks.
Top image © blew_s | Shutterstock

Selected highlights

Artificial reefs breathe new life into ecosystems

Artificial reefs breathe new life into ecosystems

Artificial reefs are becoming increasingly popular as a means of restoring and protecting coastal ecosystems and fishery resources. But do they work? A new study from the IIASA Evolution and Ecology Program suggests that the answer is a qualified yes. Artificial reefs...

Getting to grips with evolutionary fisheries science

Getting to grips with evolutionary fisheries science

The IIASA Evolution and Ecology Program has played an internationally leading role in bringing attention to the evolutionary consequences of exploiting the world’s fish stocks. Fishing not only affects the numbers of fish, but also their heritable characteristics....

Shedding light on vegetation dynamics

Shedding light on vegetation dynamics

Plants are of central importance to terrestrial ecosystems and play a key role in the global carbon cycle. In 2017, the IIASA Evolution and Ecology Program showed how the inclusion of evolutionary and eco-physiological principles enables improved vegetation models....

Understanding armed conflicts

Understanding armed conflicts

Armed conflicts remain widespread around the globe, yet their dynamics are poorly understood. The recent introduction and analysis of a simple model enables basic insights into how military characteristics and recruitment policies affect the dynamics of these...