The Rise and Fall of Cooperation: Theoretical and Synthetic Models

Speaker:  Matteo Cavaliere - Manchester Metropolitan University
  Monday, May 13, 2019 at 3:00 PM Aula Verde
Structured social, biological and economic communities grow and decline with recurrent fragmentation and re-formation, often explained in terms of external perturbations. In this seminar, I will discuss a computational model of structured populations and evolutionary game theory that explains these phenomena as consequence of the endogenous conflicts between "cooperators" and "cheaters". Cooperators promote well-organised prosperous (but fragile) communities and cheaters cause them to fragment and lose their prosperity leading to recurrent cycles of formation and fragmentation observed, for instance, in bacterial organisations.
I will also discuss how this type of models can be validated with synthetic biology and used to investigate the eco-evolutionary dynamics of cellular communities.

M. Cavaliere et al., Prosperity is associated with instability in dynamical networks. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 299, 2012.
M. Cavaliere, JF Poyatos. Plasticity facilitates sustainable growth in the commons. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 10, 81, 2013.
Moreno-Fenoll C. et al., Eco-evolutionary feedbacks can rescue cooperation in microbial populations. Scientific Reports, 7, 2017.


Matteo Cavaliere is a Lecturer in Computer Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, and previously he has been a research associate at the Microsoft Research – University of Trento, Centre for Computational Systems Biology and at the Spanish National Research Centre in Biotechnology. His general scientific aim is to understand the role of information-processing in living systems. In his research he combine mathematical, computational and wet-lab experimental approaches. Applications of his works range from the study of cooperation and cheating in communities to the spreading of cancer in tissues.

List of publications:

Contact Person: Prof. Vincenzo Manca

Programme Director

Publication date
March 12, 2019