IHS Seminar: Maria Kleshnina

Modelling the evolution of social behavior

All life is social and dependent on the interactions with others as no organism exists in isolation (Frank, 2007, Ackay, 2019). Evolutionary game theory emerged as a mathematical framework for analyzing interactions among individuals at the level of natural selection. A basic insight from these models is that a behavioral strategy that yields higher fitness relative to other strategies should dominate in the population. However, the evolution of social behavior is a result of the interplay of many factors such as environmental conditions, genetic variations, constitution of behavioral types of organisms and populations' structure, etc. This complexity is not captured in classic models of evolutionary game theory. It leaves them open for criticisms of oversimplification as they are unable to make specific predictions about which strategy will dominate under which conditions. In my research, I try to address some of this critique by considering the effects of heterogeneity in individual's behavior and abilities, dynamic environmental conditions and availability of information on the evolution of social behavior. In this talk, I will give an overview of my research relating to the evolution of behavior of microorganisms and the evolution of cooperative strategies, particularly those adopted by humans.

We're looking forward to your participation!

The IHS seminar will take place online as an MS-Teams event. Interested parties can register by mail to event(at)ihs.ac.at and will receive a link to participate.

Maria Kleshnina is a Post-Doc Researcher at IST Austria and works on computer-aided verification and Game Theory. She will be a guest researcher at IHS in 2021, collaborating with the Behavioral Economics group ("Insight Austria").