key words — evolutionary and behavioural ecology, life history, social evolution, kin selection, inclusive fitness, demography, phenotypic plasticity, cooperation, altruism, dispersal.
I develop theoretical models to understand the adaptive evolution of organisms. To this purpose, I develop mathematical models using a variety of methods, 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 a wide range of organisms, including: viruses, bacteria, fungi, insects, birds, and mammals.
My work focuses on a wide range of topics within behavioural and evolutionary ecology.
Evolution of Altruism – I have been interested in the evolution of altruistic behaviour. Altruism poses a major problem for evolutionary biologists because it carries a fitness cost to organisms that puts them in disadvantage in relation to more selfish individuals. My research focuses on how environmental and individuals heterogeneity influence the altruistic behaviour of organisms (e.g. Rodrigues and Gardner 2012, 2013a,b; Rodrigues and Kokko 2016).
Evolution of Dispersal – Dispersal occurs whenever organisms breed outside their place of birth. Dispersal is a puzzling behaviour because it often subjects individuals to additional energy expenditure and it may expose dispersers to predators and unknown environments. My work focuses on how 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).
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).
Antonio M. M. Rodrigues, DPhil
Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
CB2 3EJ Cambridge, UK
email: ammr3 at cam dot ac dot uk