Organizational News

DySoC now has an Executive Committee comprised of four members: Sergey Gavrilets, Alex Bentley, Michael Blum, and Aleydis Van De Moortel. Expect to hear from us soon.

DySoc member Suresh Babu has become the new Director of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

New Members

Michael Blum. Michael is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He got his Ph.D. from Duke University. Michael works on the socioecology of disasters and infectious disease; coastal protection and restoration; and conservation and management of freshwater resources on oceanic islands.

New Papers

Bentley RA, Ormerod P, Ruck DJ. 2018. Recent origin and evolution of obesity-income correlation across the United States. Palgrave Communications 4, article 146.

Burghardt GM, Burkhardt RW. 2018. Wallace Craig’s Appetites and aversions as constituents of instincts: A centennial appreciation. Journal of Comparative Psychology 132(4): 361–372.

Rael R et al. 2018. Rat lungworm infection in rodents across post-Katrina New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases 24(12).

Pronovost H et al. 2018. Deep sequencing reveals multiclonality and new discrete typing units of Trypanosoma cruzi in rodents from the southern United States. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection .

New Courses:

Mariam Thalos will be teaching a seminar in the spring 19' on Foundations of Decision.
PHIL:640 HSS-62 T 03:40PM-06:20PM. This course introduces students to the basic elements of modern decision and game theories, but the focus will be on philosophical issues in choice and reasoning towards choice. Some attention will be devoted to the adoptions of rational choice concepts in explaining human behavior, especially in economic, sociological and political sciences (including the logic of voting systems).

Talks given or oncoming:

  • Chien-Fei Cheng and Sergey Gavrilets will give talks at NSF RCN-SEES workshop: Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems in Singapore (Jan.27-29, 2019).
  • Sergey Gavrilets will give a talk at the Graduate Institute for Advanced Studies (Sokendai), Japan (Feb. 1, 2019).

DySoC Workshops

Investigative Workshop on "Extending the Theory of Sustainability" took place December 5-7, 2018; link The workshop was a great success. We expect some of the workshop participants to be back to work on manuscripts of several papers.

DySoC Working group Human Origins 2021 . Feb 15-16 2019. Organizers: S. Gavrilets, F. de Waal, P. J. Richerson. The year 2021 will be the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's second book "The Descent of Man" (1871). This workshop aims to develop strategies for preparing the scientific community for the widespread celebration of the achievements of life science in understanding human origins (including continuities and discontinuities with other species) that will accompany this anniversary. Our overall goal is to leverage this oncoming anniversary 1) to advance scientific research focusing on the evolutionary forces and mechanisms that drove the origins of the human species and on implications of our evolutionary past for modern humans and 2) to promote public understanding of the significance of this research across various segments of society, including educators, politicians, business leaders, and medical doctors. A specific goal is to build momentum and stimulate collaborative research networks across various scientific disciplines (such as evolutionary biology, primatology, anthropology, neurobiology, psychology, economics and other social sciences) with the aim of establishing a major new synthesis center analogous to the highly successful previous NSF-funded centers ( NCEAS NESCent NIMBioS , and  SESYNC ) which have already revolutionized the way research is done across a range of life sciences.