march, 2021

30mar1:00 pm1:00 amEvolution of mating systems in spaceDr Greta Bocedi


Event Details


Mating systems are represented by suits of physiological, morphological and behavioural traits that determine the general strategy employed by individuals in obtaining mates. As for the evolution of any complex suit of traits, mating system evolution is not straightforward to understand and predict. This is partly because there is inherent complexity stemming from interactions and feed-backs among multiple traits and between evolving traits and a species’ ecology, and from the genetic basis, mechanisms and consequences of evolving traits. This inherent complexity however is most often ignored.

Space, spatial structure and spatial dynamics, represent important components of the ecological complexity that likely shape mating system evolution, mediate by individual dispersal among populations and its evolution. Both dispersal and mating system are fundamental in determining species’ ecology, evolution and responses to environmental changes. As main drivers of gene flow in space and time, they determine species’ evolutionary potential by affecting both genetic and individual fitness variation. Particularly, inbreeding is key to dispersal-mating system interactions: they both determine inbreeding opportunity, while the balance between inbreeding costs and benefits may cause evolution of dispersal and mating system traits. To make advances in our theoretical understanding and predictive capability of evolution of such complex traits, we need to develop theory using models that allow representation of the relevant genetic, evolutionary and ecological processes, and thereby allow accounting for spatially-explicit (co)evolutionary and eco-evolutionary feed-backs.

Drawing from my work on sexual selection, female multiple mating and dispersal, I will show examples of how accounting for space and dispersal, as well as for some genetic and ecological complexity, in developing theory of mating system evolution, can help further understanding of (eco-)evolutionary feed-backs among different traits and processes, and of the consequences for population genetics and ecology.


Dr Bocedi and her group study ecological, evolutionary and eco-evolutionary dynamics of species adaptations and behaviours in space and during environmental changes.  They use  theoretical models, mainly genetically- and spatially-explicit individual-based models, to generate fundamental understandings of the consequences for population dynamics, persistence and diversification, and for species’ responses to rapid environmental changes.

Greta Bocedi


Link to Dr Bocedi’s  lab wesbite



(Tuesday) 1:00 pm - 1:00 am