Evolution of host defence in response to fluctuating environments: a theoretical and experimental study

11 Jul 2018, 15:00
New Law School/--028 (University of Sydney)

New Law School/--028

University of Sydney

Oral Presentation Disease - infectious Multistrain models & resistance


Charlotte Ferris (University of Sheffield, UK)


Environmental fluctuations, such as those caused by seasonality, are common, and climate change is expected to increase the amplitude of environmental oscillations. Therefore it is important to understand how increasing the amplitude of environmental oscillations will affect evolutionary processes, and in particular host-parasite evolution, where the extent of evolution is likely to be altered.

Here I present results from a mathematical study of host defence evolution to parasitism when the host birth rate is time-dependent. I show how the amplitude and period of seasonality affect the evolution of the host population, and how this depends on other life-history parameters, most notably the recovery rate. I also present experimental results from a study of the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and its phage parasite (SBW25Φ2), and link these to predictions from the mathematical model.

Primary author

Charlotte Ferris (University of Sheffield, UK)


Alex Best (University of Sheffield, UK) Michael Brockhurst (University of Sheffield, UK) Rosanna Wright (University of York, UK)

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