Research Focus

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I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing postulates consciousness.
– Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck

Evolution is the common theme linking everything in biology from individual alleles to language. Darwin believed that the mathematically inclined had a different insight into evolution. He probably would feel gratified knowing that now evolution has gained a solid mathematical foundation.

The abstracted general principles of evolution can be represented by precise mathematical equations. Simplicity is invoked by making use of the minimum factors that matter. But we cannot even begin to imagine how many factors a single honeybee takes into account when vouching for a particular flower. How can we take this complexity into account if we aim at retrieving simple tractable explanations of biological principles? I am interested in tackling this question and to do so I use tools such as evolutionary game theory, population genetics, dynamical systems theory etc.

While population genetics can tackle quite complex problems of genetic evolution, it lacks the simplicity provided by evolutionary game theory which has been predominantly applied in a social context. I hope to contribute towards building a bridge between these seemingly disparate fields.

Traditionally in evolutionary game theory most of the theory has focused on two player interaction and general results extending to multiple strategies have been derived in this context, but in Nature multiple interactions are rather the norm. Can we get general results for multiplayer games and multiple strategies? Can we do so without compromising the beauty and simplicity of evolutionary game theory? Some of my work has focused on this aspect.I hope to further the developments in multiplayer game theory by including aspects from genetics and applying it in a population genetic context.

Besides developing the techniques for analysis I am also interested in applying them. Topics of interest include host-parasite coevolution, mutualistic interactions, social dilemmas and the the origin and evolution of cultural phenomena such as religion.