about
I am a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale University working with Prof Stephen Stearns.

research
key words — behavioural ecology, life history, social evolution, kin selection, inclusive fitness, demography, phenotypic plasticity, reproductive effort, cooperation, altruism, dispersal.

I develop theoretical models to understand the adaptive evolution of organisms. To this purpose, I develop mathematical models using a wide range of approaches, such as kin selection, game theory, population genetics and individual-based simulations. I develop general models to identify and understand key selection pressures acting on social traits, but also specific models tailored for particular biological systems. My work relates to multiple organisms and taxonomic groups, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, insects, birds, and mammals.

My work focuses on a wide range of topics within life history and behavioural ecology.

Evolution of Altruism – I am interested in understanding the evolution of altruistic behaviour. Altruism poses a major problem for evolutionary biologists because it carries a fitness cost to organisms that places them at a disadvantage when compared with more selfish individuals. My research focuses on how environmental and individual heterogeneity influence the altruistic behaviour of organisms (e.g. Rodrigues and Gardner 2012, 2013a,b; Rodrigues and Kokko 2016; Rodrigues and Taylor 2018).

Evolution of Dispersal – Dispersal occurs whenever organisms move away from their place of birth to breed. This is a puzzling behaviour because it often requires the expenditure of additional resources and it may expose dispersers to predators, in-transit hazards, and novel challenging environments. My work focuses on how variable environment and individual quality mediates the dispersal behaviour of organisms. Often individuals are in different condition, and therefore the costs and benefits of dispersal may vary across individuals (e.g. Rodrigues and Johnstone 2014; Rodrigues and Gardner 2016; Rodrigues and Taylor 2018; Rodrigues 2018).

Evolution of Sex Ratio – Sex ratio is the fraction of males in a population, and this varies widely both between and within species. In humans, for instance, there is a balanced sex ratio. In several insect species, by contrast, we often find an extremely female-biased sex ratio. I am interested in understanding how information and variation in individual quality influence the evolution of the sex ratio (e.g. Rodrigues and Gardner 2015).

contact
Antonio M. M. Rodrigues, DPhil
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Yale University
email: antonio.rodrigues at yale dot edu