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The Ecology and Evolution of Mutualism

Dr. Judith Bronstein, Ecology and Evolution Biology, University of Arizona


Mutualisms are cooperative interactions between pairs of species. Extensive information has long been available on the natural history of mutualism. However, a conceptual understanding of these enigmatic interactions has only begun to coalesce over the past few years. Most of the fundamental questions about mutualisms – how, when, and why they arise, how they can persist in the face of the apparent “temptation to cheat”, how they structure the communities in which they occur, and what their fate might be in a changing world – remain unanswered, and indeed barely explored. I will give a sweeping overview of major themes in the current study of the ecology and evolution of mutualism, identifying both emergent patterns and exciting new forefronts of research.

Faculty Host: Professor Serguei Saavedra

Visit Dr. Bronstein’s Website: http://judithbronstein.com

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