I’m working on several topics in spatial ecology.
- Mating system
- Social Behavior
- Host–parasite interaction
- Reproductive Interference
Why do you migrate from the natal site to another?
Dispersal is defined as any movement causing gene flow across space, and it is fundamental in ecology and evolution. In spatial models, dispersal is sometimes treated as if a parameter (e.g. of “connectivity among subpopulations”), but dispersal itself is subject to natural selection owing to kin competition, inbreeding, and environmental fluctuations.
Collaborators: M. Boots, P.-O. Cheptou, S. Cremer, Y. Iwasa, J. Hite, and M. Kutzer.
Why do you have sexuality, and why do(n’t) you like to mate with thy sister/brother?
Mating system sensu lato includes any trait that has something to do with “mating”. In some plants, they do “self-fertilize”, i.e. an individual flower can “mate” with itself; evolutionary advantages of self-fertilization are balanced among transmission fidelity, inbreeding depression, and reproductive assurance. One of the central questions to plant evolutionary ecology is: why do so many species exhibit outcrossing? Mathematical modelings could contribute greatly to predicting the prevalence of outcrossing and mixed mating, and I aim to give testable predictions for the evolutionary consequences of selfing and selfing-syndrome.
Collaborator: P.-O. Cheptou
Why do you help/harm thy neighbors?
Social behavior encompasses any conspecific interactions that affect fitness. Understanding how and when cooperation is favored and maintained have been a long-standing problem in evolutionary biology. My aim is to study the evolutionary dynamics of cooperative behavior. In this vein, inclusive fitness theory has been a powerful tool to explain and predict evolutionary dynamics of cooperation in viscous populations.
Collaborators: M. Boots, S. Cremer, and M. Kutzer.
Who is ahead in the arms race between host and parasite?
Host–parasite interaction is ubiquitous, as almost all the species on earth is infected by parasites. Parasites impose selection on hosts, resulting in host’s adaptation, which in turn may affect parasite adaptation. Then they fight with each other to win the arms race, but such co-evolution exhibits spatial variation. Thus, spatial community dynamics plays a central role in host–parasite interaction.
Collaborators: B. Ashby, and M. Boots.
How reproductive interference affects the diversity?
Reproductive interference (RI) occurs when genetically similar species distribution is mutually overlapped, and when such species copulate. RI can incur ecological (and thus evolutionary) cost in energy, time, body condition, and resources, that are otherwise allocatable somewhere else. Explanations for the factors promoting and limiting species coexistence have been put forward, including the weak effects of competitive exclusion due to dis-similarlity, niche-difference, and stochastic transience. I use behaviorally explicit models to predict whether RI promotes or inhibits species coexistence.
Collaborators: S. Noriyuki
So far, my interest is related with spatial ecology! Please feel free to join my project.