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DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar Series

DySoC and NIMBioS are hosting a series of seminars on topics related to social complexity. Monthly seminars will be held at NIMBioS in Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.


S. Levin photo.

Speaker: Dr. Simon Levin, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton Univ.

Time/Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2019, 4 p.m.*

Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.

Topic: Public goods, from biofilms to societies

Abstract: Ecological and economic systems are alike in that individual agents compete for limited resources, evolve their behaviors in response to interactions with others, and form exploitative as well as cooperative interactions as a result. In these complex adaptive systems, macroscopic properties like the flow patterns of resources like nutrients and capital emerge from large numbers of microscopic interactions, and feed back to affect individual behaviors. In this talk, I will explore some common features of these systems, especially as they involve the evolution of cooperation in dealing with public goods, common pool resources and collective movement. I will describe examples from bacteria and slime molds to vertebrate groups to insurance arrangements in human societies and international agreements on environmental issues.

Dr. Simon Levin is a James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution and the Director of the Center for BioComplexity at Princeton University. He specializes in using mathematical modeling and empirical studies in the understanding of macroscopic patterns of ecosystems and biological diversity. Dr. Levin is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2016, President Obama awarded Levin the U.S. National Medal of Science—the nation's highest honor for achievement and leadership in science.

*Join us for refreshments at 3:30 p.m.

Seminar Flyer (pdf)

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This seminar was streamed live. Live-streamed seminars are archived for later viewing on NIMBIoS' YouTube channel.
Watch this seminar online.

For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit http://www.nimbios.org/announcements/seminars.


S. Levin. S. Levin.



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NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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