[S15] Experimental evolution in complex environments

Organisms live in complex communities in which they are influenced by the social connections to their peers, which shape their environment. Hence adaptation to an environment is highly influenced by the abiotic environment as well as the social interactions with community members. Experimental evolution provides a superb approach for studying how social as well as abiotic environmental interactions affect the adaptation to novel and heterogeneous environments. In addition, it aids our understanding of the intricate connection between the abiotic environment, the individual organisms and their communities that inhabit it. Importantly, the community structure significantly influences the evolution of social interactions that could resolve in cooperation, mutualistic division of labor or competition and conflict. Recent advances in experimental evolution revolutionized our understanding of the principles underlying population dynamics in heterogeneous environments. The aim of this symposium is to bring together empirical and theoretical contributions that aim to understand the impact of the environment-mediated selective forces driving the evolution of microbes and other model systems in the laboratory and under natural settings.
Organizers: Akos Kovacs, Marjon de Vos
Invited speakers: Michael Brockhurst, Ivana Gudelj