Our aim is to understand how processes at the level of individuals drive dynamics of
populations and communities. We focus on individual trade-offs and use trait-based
models to explain ecological and evolutionary patterns.
Mechanistic and evolutionary models
Life history strategies
Predators, prey, move-
This 'individual-based evolutionary ecology' is our tool to understand the functioning of ecosystems
and predict how organism respond to environmental change. We work mainly with marine systems,
but some of the theory we develop addresses general biological questions
regardless of ecosystem. Please read more abour our Research Themes below.
| || Trait-based Ecosystem Models |
Traditionally, ecosystem models represent a few important 'functional' groups of organisms, ignoring the biodiversity of nature. Trait-based models take a different approach where organisms are characterised as continuums of traits, andwinners are determined by a process resembling natural selection.
| || NORWECOM.E2E |
The development of IMR's NORWECOM end-to-end ecosystem model of the Norwegian Sea and adjacent waters is a core infrastructure activity of TEG.
| || Animal Decision Making |
Since 1990 we have been involved in modeling decision-making, particularly in fish and plankton. We have been using Life History Theory, Game Theory and State-Dependent Optimization to model both short-term and life-history decisions. More recently, we have been using Genetic Algorithms to evolve adaptive behaviors in Individual-Based Models, either directly as life-history decision genes, neural networks of brains, or decisions coming out from the feelings of the individuals.
| || Evolution of Mating Systems |
How may mating strategies affect parental investment and cooperation? Using theoretical models of common ecological mechanisms we study how extra-pair mating may trigger male-male cooperation in predator defence and sharing of resources. This provides an adaptive explanation for female promiscuity and a new hypothesis for the evolution of cooperation.
| || Evolution in Fisheries Science |
Industrial fishing is the main source of mortality for many commercially harvested
fish stocks, and there is increasing concern that this will cause evolutionary changes
in the fish species themselves. We use models as a virtual
laboratory to study fish evolution. By varying the external pressures, such as fishing,
we simulate fish evolution to assess ecological and economical consequences.
| || Fish Larval Ecology |
Larval fish ecology is a theme connecting oceanography and plankton ecology to fisheries science. We have a long-standing tradition in developing state-of-the-art models on larval fish foraging and behaviour.