Omar Tonsi Eldakar
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Fax: (520) 621 9190
Office: Bio West 120
Mailing address: P.O. Box 210088, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721-0088
Individual conflict can often result in a tragedy of the commons (TOC), a scenario in which short-term self-interest can lead to the over-exploitation of a shared resource and long-term group-level consequences. Although the TOC is typically reserved for scenarios involving the cooperation/exploitation of food, water or other resources, my current research demonstrates that this scenario operates in a novel context, the over-exploitation of females. Males frequently diminish the long-term reproductive success of females in an effort to mate with them over the short-term. I investigate this conflict in the water strider (Aquarius remigis) using a multilevel selection approach. Similarly to the conflict between altruism and selfishness, high aggression males outcompete lower aggression males within groups, however groups comprised of less aggressive males have a greater reproductive potential than high aggression groups. My research program investigates selection at these multiple levels and how the movement of individuals influences these selection forces.