MO: to read and discuss research papers and books on mathematical theories of evolution.

We meet (approximately) every second Tuesday at 4PM in BRC 303.

All students, postdocs, and faculty interested in mathematical/theoretical biology are welcome. You do not have to be a math whizz! Plus, we've often got treats and drinks.

We have a mailing list: see below for more information.

Upcoming papers

Date Paper
28th November 2017 Barton et al. (2017) The infinitesimal model: definition, derivations and implications
12th December 2017 Maynard Smith & Haigh (1974) The hitch-hiking effect of a favourable gene

Previous papers


Date Paper
14th November 2017 Haldane (1957) The cost of natural selection
Grant & Flake (1974) Solutions to the cost-of-selection dilemma
Maynard Smith (1968) "Haldane's dilemma" and the rate of evolution
31st October 2017 Visiting researcher Vincent Calvez presents his work on maladaptation in a changing environment
17th October 2017 Quickfall & Marshall (2017) The evolution of mutualism with modifiers
3rd October 2017 Haldane (1964) A defense of beanbag genetics, with commentary from Crow (2008) and Ewens (2008)
8th September 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 9: Distributions of gene frequencies in populations
28th August 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 8: Stochastic processes
11th August 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 7: Properties of a finite population
31st July 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 6: Populations in approximate equilibrium
14th July 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 5: Selection (5.8-5.12)
10th July 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 5: Selection (5.1-5.7)
30th June 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 4: Correlation between relatives and assortative mating
19th June 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 3: Inbreeding
12th June 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 2: Randomly mating populations
2nd June 2017 Crow & Kimura (1970) An introduction to population genetic theory. Chapter 1: Models of population growth
7th April 2017 Queller (2017) Fundamental theorems of evolution
24th March 2017 Savage et al. (2004) Effects of body size and temperature on population growth
10th March 2017 Wakano et al. (2009) Spatial dynamics of ecological public goods SOM
10th February 2017 Good and Desai (2014) Deleterious passengers in adapting populations
13th January 2017 Bergstromm and Lachmann (1997) Signalling among relatives I: is costly signalling too costly?


Date Paper
9th December 2016 Martin and Lenormand (2015) Fitness effects of mutations across enviroments
18th November 2016 Guillon (2016) Sex ratio evolution when fitness and dispersal vary
14th October 2016 Durrett (1999) Spatial models for hybrid zones
30th September 2016 Barton (1979) The Dynamics of Hybrid Zones
16th September 2016 Matuszewski et al. (2015) Catch me if you can: Adaptation from standing genetic variation to a moving phenotypic optimum
10th June 2016 Uecker and Hermisson (2016) The Role of Recombination in Evolutionary Rescue
27th May 2016 Chisholm et al. (2016) The emergence of latent infection in the early evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
13th May 2016 Gao et al. (2016) Interpreting the Dependence of Mutation Rates on Age and Time
29th April 2016 Connallon and Clark (2014a) Balancing Selection in Species with Separate Sexes: Insights from Fisher’s Geometric Model
8th April 2016 Yamamichi and Ellner (2016) Antagonistic coevolution between quantitative and Mendelian traits
11th March 2016 Ubeda (2014) On the origin of sex chromosomes from meiotic drive
16th March 2016 Wakano Miura (2014) Trade-off between learning and exploitation
26th February 2016 Fyon et. al. (2015) Enhancer Runaway and the Evolution of Diploid Gene Expression
12th February 2016 Muirhead and Presgraves (2016) Hybrid Incompatibilities, Local Adaptation, and the Genomic Distribution of Natural Introgression between Species
29th January 2016 Coulson et al. (2015) Quantitative Genetics Meets Integral Projection Models.
15th January 2016 Lion (2015) Moment equations in spatial evolutionary ecology. J. Theoretical Biology


Date Paper
11th September 2015 Birch J and Okasha S (2015) Kin selection and its critics. BioScience 65(1): 22-32.
22nd May 2015 Shaw AK and Kokko H (2015) Dispersal Evolution in the Presence of Allee Effects Can Speed Up or Slow Down Invasions? Am Nat 185(5): 631-639
24th April 2015 Kuijper, B and Hoyle, RB (2015) When to rely on maternal effects and when on phenotypic plasticity? Evolution 69(4): 950-968
9th April 2015 Peischl S, Kirkpatrick M, Excoffier L (2015) Expansion Load and the Evolutionary Dynamics of a Species Range. American Naturalist 185(4): E81-E93
27th March 2015 Engelstädter J (2015) , Host-Parasite Coevolutionary Dynamics with Generalized Success/Failure Infection Genetics. American Naturalist 185(5) E000.
13th March 2015 Wakano J and Iwasa Y (2013) , Evolutionary Branching in a Finite Population: Deterministic Brancing vs. Stochastic Branching. Genetics 193: 229-241.
30th January 2015 Polechová J, Barton N (2015) , Limits to adaptation along environmental gradients. bioRxivdoi:
16th January 2015 Cheptou P and Massol F (2009) , Pollination fluctuations drive evolutionary syndromes linking dispersal and mating system. Am Nat 107(1) 46-55 ( Appendices A-C ). See also Pannell J and Barrett (1998) Baker's law revisited: reproductive assurance in a metapopulation. Evolution 53(3) 657-668.


Date Paper
14th November 2014 Rueffler C, Egas M and Metz JAJ (2006) , Evolutionary Predictions Should Be Based on Individual‐Level Traits. Am Nat 168(5) 148-162.
24th October 2014 G Parker , The origin and maintenance of two sexes (anisogamy), and their gamete sizes by gamete competition. In Togashi and Cox (2011) The Evolution Of Isogamy, Cambridge University Press p17-68.
10th October 2014 Hurst and Hamilton (1992), Cytoplasmic Fusion and the Nature of Sexes. Pro. R. Soc. Lond. B 247 189-194.
26th September 2014 Hamilton (1967), Extraordinary Sex Ratios. Science 156: 478-488.
28th March 2014 Hansen (2013), Why epistasis is important for selection and adaptation. Evolution 67-12: 3501–3511
28th February 2014 van den Heuvel et al. (2013), The Predictive Adaptive Response: Modeling the Life-History Evolution of the Butterfly Bicyclus anynana in Seasonal Environments. mathematical details supp mat, supplementary figures and tables
7th February 2014 Turelli et al. (2001), Stable two-allele polymorphisms maintained by fluctuating selection and seed banks: protecting the blues in Linanthus parryae.
24th January 2014 Allen et al. (2013), The Limitations of Inclusive Fitness.
17th January 2014 McPeek and Holt (1992), The Evolution of Dispersal in Spatially and Temporally Varying Environments.


Date Paper
22nd November 2013 Weissman et al (2010), The rate of fitness-valley crossing in sexual populations.
8th November 2013 Sellis et al (2011), Heterozygote advantage as a natural consequence of adaptation in diploids. PNAS 108(51): 20666-20671. Supp Mat
24th October 2013 Nee et al (1994), The Reconstructed Evolutionary Process. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 344: 305-311.
10th October 2013 Barfield et al (2011), Evolution in Stage-Structured Populations. American Naturalist 177(4): 397-409.
27 September 2013 Metz et al (1992), How Should We Define 'Fitness' for General Ecological Scenarios? TREE 7(6): 198-202.
10 September 2013 Rousset F. (2004), Genetic Structure and Selection in Subdivided Populations. Chap. 4: Interpretations of Inbreeding and Relatedness Coefficients in Subdivided Populations. F. Rousset's "Corrections and afterthoughts"
28 August 2013 Rousset F. (2004), Genetic Structure and Selection in Subdivided Populations. Chap. 3: Spatially Homogeneous Dispersal: The Island Model and Isolation by Distance.
15 August 2013 Rousset F. (2004), Genetic Structure and Selection in Subdivided Populations. Chap. 5: Evolutionary Dynamics.
12 August 2013 Rousset F. (2004), Genetic Structure and Selection in Subdivided Populations. Chap. 1 and 2: Selection and Drift.
10 July 2013 Evans M.R. et al (2013), Do simple models lead to generality in ecology? TREE, in press. 10.1016/j.tree.2013.05.022.
6 June 2013 Shpak M and Proulx SR (2013), The role of life cycle and migration in selection for variance in offspring number. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 2007, 69:837-860.
24 May, 2013 Otto S.P. and Day T. (2007), A Biologist's Guide to Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution, Chapter 15: Analyzing continuous Stochastic Models - Diffusion in Time and Space.
3 May, 2013 Frank, S. A. (2012), Natural selection. IV. The Price equation. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25: 1002–1019.
19 April, 2013 Pavlidis P., Metzler D. and Stephan W. (2012), Selective sweeps in multilocus models of quantitative traits. Genetics. 2012 Sep;192(1):225-39.
5 April, 2013 Kirkpatrick M. and Peischl S. (2012), Evolutionary rescue by beneficial mutations in environments that change in space and time. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B., January 19, 2013 368 1610 20120082; doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0082 1471-2970. SOM.
8 March, 2013 Rajon, E. and Masel, J. (2013), Compensatory evolution and the origins of innovations. Genetics, Early Online.
22 February, 2013 Ripa, J. and Dieckmann, U. (2013), Mutant invasions and adaptive dynamics in variable environments. Evolution. doi: 10.1111/evo.12046 (online early; supp info added to the pdf)
8 February, 2013 Abrams, P. A., Tucker, C. M. and Gilbert, B. (2013), Evolution of the storage effect. Evolution, 67: 315–327. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01756.x. +SuppInfo.
25 January, 2013 Coulson, T. and Tuljapurkar S. (2008). The dynamics of a quantitative trait in an age-structured population living in a variable environment, The American Naturalist 172(5):599-612. +App A.
11 January, 2013 Otto S.P., Servedio, M.R. & Nuismer, S.L. (2008). Frequency-Dependent Selection and the Evolution of Assortative Mating, Genetics 179(4): 2091-2112.


Date Paper
16 November, 2012 Chevin (2012). Genetic contraints on adaptation to a changing environment, Evolution (early view), doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01809.x
1 November, 2012 Zhang (2012). Fisher's geometrical model of fitness landscape and variance in fitness within a changing environment, Evolution 66(8): 2350-2368
5 October, 2012 van Doorn and Kirkpatrick (2007). Turnover of sex chromosomes induced by sexual conflict. Nature, 449: 909-912. doi:10.1038/nature06178
21 September, 2012 Hanski, I. et al (2011). Eco-Evolutionary Metapopulation Dynamics and the Spatial Scale of Adaptation. The American Naturalist, 177(1), 29-43. doi:10.1086/657625
7 September, 2012 Peischl and Kirkpatrick (2012), Establishment of New Mutations in Changing Environments, Genetics 191(3): 895-906.
9 August, 2012 Blanquart F. et al (2012), The effects of migration and drift on local adaptation to a heterogeneous environment. JEB 25(7) 1351-1363 [supp info added to the pdf].
26 July, 2012 Bürger R. and Akerman A. (2011), The effects of linkage and gene flow on local adaptation: a two-locus continent-island model. Theor Popul Biol. 80(4):272-88.
14 June, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 8: Developmental Evolution.
17 May, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 9: Evolutionary Game Theory and Strategy Dynamics.
2 May, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 10: Multilevel Selection.
26 April, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 7: Quantitative Genetics.
5 April, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 6: The Algebra of Evolution: Price's Theorem.
29 March, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 5: Diffusion Theory.
22 March, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 4: Effective Population Size.
8 March, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 3: Drift at Neutral Loci.
23 February, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 2: Selection on Two Loci. (notes)
9 February, 2012 Rice (2004) Evolutionary Theory. Chap 1: Selection on One Locus.
26 January, 2012 Kremer and Le Corre (2011), Decoupling of differentiation between traits and their underlying genes in response to divergent selection. Heredity, doi: 10.1038/hdy.2011.81.
12 January, 2012 Lee et al. (2012), An evolutionary mechanism for diversity in siderophore-producing bacteria. Ecology Letters, 15: 119-125.


Date Paper
8 December, 2011 Via and Lande (1985), Genotype-environment interaction and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Evolution, 39: 505-523.
24 November, 2011 Doebeli and Ispolatov (2010), Complexity and Diversity. Science 328: 494-497.
10 November, 2011 Bond and Midgley (1995), Kill Thy Neighbour: An Individualistic Argument for the Evolution of Flammability. Oikos 73(1): 79-85
27 October, 2011 Kimura (1962), On the Probability of Fixation of Mutant Genes in a Population, Genetics 47: 713-719
13 October, 2011 Geritz et al. (1998), Evolutionarily singular strategies and the adaptive growth and branching of the evolutionary tree. Evolutionary Ecology 12: 35-57.
29 September, 2011 Lenormand and Otto (2000), The Evolution of Recombination in a Heterogeneous Environment, Genetics 156(1): 423-438
15 September, 2011 Thibert-Plante and Hendry, 2011. Factors influencing progress toward sympatric speciation, JEB (Early view).


Date Paper
28 July, 2010 Levins 1968. Evolution in changing environments, chapters 5 & 6.
19 July, 2010 Levins 1968. Evolution in changing environments, chapter 4.
17 June, 2010 Levins 1968. Evolution in changing environments, chapter 3.
10 June, 2010 Levins 1968. Evolution in changing environments, chapter 1 and chapter 2.


Date Paper
19 October Hammerschmidt et al. 2009. When to go: optimization of host switching in parasites with complex life cycles. Evolution 63: 1976-1986.
5 October Tarnita et al. 2009. Evolutionary dynamics in set structured populations. PNAS 106: 8601-8604.
21 September Draghi & Wagner 2008. The evolutionary dynamics of evolvability in a gene network model. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22: 599-611.
9 June Proulx S.R. & Phillips, P.C. 2005. The opportunity for canalization and the evolution of genetic networks. The American Naturalist 165: 147-162.
3 June Wagner G.P. & Altenberg L. 1996. Complex adaptations and the evolution of evolvability Evolution 50: 967-976.
27 May Maynard Smith J. 1981. Sympatric speciation American Naturalist 100: 637-650.
11 May Felsenstein J. 1981. Skepticism towards Santa Rosalia, or why are there so few kinds of animals? Evolution 35: 124-138.
1 May Nozawa M., Suzuki Y. & Nei M 2009. Reliabilities of identifying positive selection by the branch-site and the site-prediction methods. PNAS in press.
3 April Yukilevich R., Lachance J., Aoki F., & True J.R. 2008. Long-term adaptation of epistatic genetic networks. Evolution 62: 2215-2235.
27 March Palmer M.E. & Feldman M.W. 2008. Dynamics of hybrid incompatibility in gene networks in a constant environment. Evolution 63: 418-431.
20 March Uyeda J.C., Arnold S.J., Hohenlohe P.A. & Mead L.S. 2009. Drift promotes speciation by sexual selection. Evolution 63: 583-594.
13 March Gandon S. & Nuismer S.L. 2009. Interactions between genetic drift, gene flow, and selection mosaics drive parasite local adaptation. The American Naturalist 173: 212-224.
6 March Hey J. & Nielsen R. 2004. multilocus methods for estimating population sizes, migration rates and divergence time, with applications to the divergence of Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis. Genetics 167: 747-760.
28 February Lande R. 2007. Expected relative fitness and the adaptive topography of fluctuating selection. Evolution 61: 1835-1846
20 February Johnson T. & Barton N. 2005. Theoretical models of selection and mutation on quantitative traits. Philosohpical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 360: 1411-1425.
13 February Kerr, B. & Godfrey-Smith, P. 2009. Generalization of the Price equation for evolutionary change. Evolution 63: 531-536.
6 February Case, T.J. & Taper, M.L. 2000. Interspecific Competition, Environmental Gradients, Gene Flow, and the Coevolution of Species' Borders. The American Naturalist 155: 583-605.
30 January Martin, G. & Lenormand, T. 2006. A general multivariate extension of Fisher's geometrical model and the distribution of mutation fitness effects across species. Evolution 60:893-907.
23 January Barton, N.H. 2001. The role of hybridization in evolution. Molecular Ecology 10: 551-568.

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