A quantitative sociobiological approach to fluctuating stress and resource management

Darja Dubravcic is studying how organisms deal with stressful situations and make decisions in an imperfect environment. Understanding their strategies may enable us to discover new means of adaptation and their costs and benefits.
Nature is full of social systems; humans live in societies, birds in flocks, ants in colonies, bacteria in biofilms. Within the group individuals cooperate and compete. The cooperation assures group strength and ability to outcompete other groups. On the other hand competition serves to get the highest self benefit/interest from the group. The more diverse the group is the stronger is the competition. But diverse groups are known to be stronger in fighting agains environmental changes and give higher productivity. So, how is diversity maintained despite between individual competition? I am studying this problem on microorganism called social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum. The cells of this amoeba spend part of their life as asocial individuals and part as part of the social group. I am looking competitive and cooperative interactions between different individuals in order to explain the diversity observed in the nature.

How Does Nature Deal with Stress and Risk

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Université Paris Descartes

Université Paris V