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Jeremy Van Cleve

Research Interests:
Evolutionary ecology
Quantitative biology
Social evolution
Ecological and evolutionary genetics
Mathematical Biology

B.A. Oberlin College 2003
Ph.D. Stanford University 2009


My current research falls into three topics

  • Evolution of cooperation in groups

    Although the evolutionary forces that can support the spread of cooperative or mutually beneficial social interactions are fairly well understood, a systematic framework for how to explore proximate mechanisms for such cooperation that is amenable to evolutionary analysis is lacking.  In collaboration with Erol Akçay, I have developed a system of studying behavioral objectives that can clarify the ecological requirements for cooperative interactions.

  • Evolution in variable environments and bet-hedging

    I have explored the role of trade offs and fitness asymmetries can have on the conditions for the evolution of bet-hedging.  This is of particular relevance to microbial evolution as many microbiologists see random variations in gene expression, a kind of bet-hedging, as a common way for microbes to adapt to variable environments.

  • Evolution of genomic imprinting

    Using tools from population genetics and evolutionary theory, I have explored factors that could explain the evolution of imprinting including genetic interactions such as dominance and a host of demographic factors including sex-specific selection, sex-specific migration, and generation overlap.  I have also studied the dynamic effects of imprinting, which include the possibility of complex dynamics and chaos.