Statistical and Biological Physics

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Games in Evolution: Models and Microbes

Paris, France, December 5 - 6, 2013

Organizers: Sivia De Monte (CNRS Paris), Regis Ferriere (ENS Paris), Yannick Viossat (Université Paris-Dauphine)

How do cooperation and conflict originate and evolve? This question is central to our understanding of life diversity and complexity. While game theory has provided a prodigiously fruitful framework to explore the general principles governing the evolution of cooperation and conflict, microbes have become organisms of choice for empirical investigation. Major categories of cooperative and conflictual interactions among higher eukaryotes have analogs in the microbial world.

How successful has been the cross-fertilization of mathematical game theory and the biological study of cooperation and conflict in microbes? How well do the structures of mathematical games and microbial systems fit into each other? What are the new challenges that the analysis of microbial systems poses to mathematical theory? Reciprocally, what new perspectives does current mathematical progress on evolutionary games open to microbe-based studies of cooperation
and conflict? How does game theoretical modeling help relate and extend insights from microbial systems to cooperation and conflict in multicellular eukaryotes? The workshop will tackle these questions by gathering mathematicians and biologists interested in modeling the dynamics of microbial interactions with the goal of advancing our understanding of cooperation and conflict across levels of biological organization, from cells to humans.