August 10th 2015 – Ben Ashby, University of Exeter

Ben AshbyI am currently a postdoc at the University of Exeter (based in Falmouth, Cornwall), where I develop theory on the evolution of hosts and their parasites. I am especially interested in host-parasite coevolution (reciprocal adaptations) and the complex feedbacks that exist between ecological and evolutionary processes.

My research covers a wide range of topics, from the evolution of resistance, infectivity and virulence, to the evolution of sex, mating behaviour and sociality. Recently, I’ve been looking at ways to better integrate theory on ecology and evolution. I use mathematical models and simulations to understand how genetic (e.g. epistasis, specificity) and environmental factors (e.g. spatial structure, contact patterns) affect coevolutionary dynamics. While my own research is theoretical, I work closely with a number of empiricists to test theory.

This week I’ll be at the 2015 meeting of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (#eseb2015) in Lausanne, Switzerland. I’ll be tweeting about the conference, along with snippets about my past, present and future work. You can also follow me on twitter: @bnashby.

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