I'm heading to Raleigh, NC with many other members of the Wade lab for the annual Evolution meetings. Hope to see lots of you there or look for the #Evol2014 on Twitter. I'll be presenting some recent theoretical work that extends my research in transmission mode evolution (Drown et al 2013). My coauthor, Mike Wade, will present additional theory work on cyto-nuclear interactions.
Title: How to train your symbionts: antagonistic coevolution and the evolution of transmission mode
Abstract: Here we develop a general theory for the coevolution of transmission mode and virulence in host-symbiont interactions. The fidelity of an interaction, determined by transmission mode, has a direct effect on the efficiency of selection. This new theory will combine models to understand the mechanisms of virulence evolution in structured populations. We find that interaction of virulence and genetic structure determines the balance between hosts escaping virulent pathogens and host-symbiont coevolution reducing virulence.