Meike Wittmann, Chaitanya S. Gokhale
Evolution proceeding at ecological time-scales is a reality. From numerous experiments and empirical studies across the tree of life, rapid evolution has been attested. However, the separation of time-scales between ecology and evolution has been a handy tool in the inventory of theoretical biology, and the loss of this assumption challenges us to develop new modelling and analysis approaches. Here we would like to highlight new theories and models which successfully address these challenges to understand eco- evolutionary dynamics across scales of organisation: from cells to societies, and across space and time. Our speakers offer four exciting perspectives on the theory of eco-evolutionary dynamics. First, Paula Vasconcelas discusses the joint eco-evolutionary dynamics of multiple traits. This is important because trait evolution and diversification do not happen in isolation when multiple traits are linked. Scaling up to multiple species, Lynn Govaert discusses the consequences of combining approaches from evolutionary biology and community ecology to study eco-evolutionary dynamics playing out in ecological communi- ties at various spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore, trait evolution can alter how individuals affect their environment, and this can then feedback to affect the fitness of other individuals in the population. This feedback loop is explored by Charles Mullon, focusing in particular on non-random interactions between individuals and spatial structure, with impacts ranging from microbiomes to social evolution. Fi- nally, unifying processes across scales of organisation, Josep Sardany ́es discusses the classic hypercycle model and how it can capture eco-evolutionary dynamics from the origins of life to complex eco-systems.