Abstract. Cooperation presents an enigma. Those who engage in mutual cooperative behaviors may reap the rewards, but because there may be non-negligible costs involved, those individuals contributing less can take advantage, increase in frequency and cause cooperation to decline or even collapse. A plethora of mechanisms have been proposed to explain cooperation, but most ignore that social behaviors are integral parts of more complex systems involving spatially explicit interaction networks. It is currently unknown how the foundations of cooperation theory are affected when these models are embedded in more realistic scenarios of environmental complexity.
The working group “Towards a more inclusive theory of social evolution, integrating migration and life history constraints” will address the question of how social behaviors interact with migration strategies when ecological and economic environments vary in space and time. They aim to produce a more general theory of cooperation that integrates spatial features of social evolution with life-history tradeoff theory. The results will be relevant cooperative phenomena in many fields including evolutionary biology, ecology, anthropology, sociology, economics, and political science.