The Biology and Economics of mutualisms

1-3 November 2017

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology

Plön, Germany

Some ecosystems fail while others thrive. At the heart of thriving ecosystems is often an intricate network of collaborative interactions between the associated species. While considerable literature has been devoted to antagonistic interactions like those characteristic of host-parasite and predator-prey systems, facets of mutualism are still comparatively less understood. In particular, how mutualistic interactions can be robust against invading cheats has been a matter of debate and has generated a large body of theory and novel experimental approaches testing new ideas.

Researchers from different fields are actively working towards the general understanding of mutualism. The community now consists of experimental and theoretical biologists, economists, physicists, and mathematicians. After the initial surge of theoretical developments, it only makes sense that the theories are reviewed, and further directions planned out by the community.