sergey Gavrilets News

UT Study Explains New Twist in Group Cooperation

High-rank individuals bully their group-mates to get what they want, but their contribution is key to success in conflict with other groups, according to a new study.

A joint study from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis and the University of Oxford sheds new light on the evolutionary roots of group cooperation. Researchers say that leaders in group-living species may bully their own to get what they want, but they also bully outsiders for the overall betterment of their own group.

UT Professor Uses Math to Explain History

A study by Sergey Gavrilets, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and associate director for scientific activities at National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, has found that intense warfare is the evolutionary driver of large complex societies.

Faculty News and Notes

Honors and awards for the university’s faculty and graduate students.

Study Finds Epigenetics May Underlie Homosexuality

Is homosexuality genetic? It’s a long-running debate. Now researchers at UT say they’ve found a clue that may unlock the mystery. It lies in something called epi-genetics—how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches. A working group at NIMBioS used mathematical modeling that found the transmission of sex-specific epi-marks may signal homosexuality.

UT, NIMBioS Study Finds Bullies Squelched When Bystanders Intervene

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A new national anti-bullying ad campaign urges parents to teach their kids to speak up if they witness bullying. One UT researcher has found that in humans’ evolutionary past, at least, helping the victim of a bully hastened our species’ movement toward a more egalitarian society.

Study Finds Female Choice Key to Evolutionary Shift to Modern Family

It is a question that has puzzled evolutionary biologists for years: Why did we stop being promiscuous and decide to settle down to start families? Sergey Gavrilets, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, may have found the answer, and it lies in the power of female choice.

TIME: The Ancient Sexual Revolution That May Have Spurred Human Monogamy

A mathematical model by Sergey Gavrilets, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, is getting a lot of media attention. It has found that monogamous, romantic love — or, more prosaically, pair-bonding — may have evolved in a sexual revolution that could have laid down the roots of the modern family.