MEMBER OF THE GROUP (Active in 2018)
Principal investigator Sergi Valverde
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018
Network thinking has been present ever since the time of Charles Darwin. Nature is a complex web of interaction species, coevolving together in space and time. Many studies have pointed out the existence of universal network traits, but there is no general explanation for their origin. A common explanation is that modularity and nestedness must be evolutionary adaptations. Our study in Nature Ecology and Evolution suggests an alternative. Following the classic work of S. J. Gould and R. C. Lewontin, we refer to these structural patterns as spandrels. Although network features originate as side-effects of generative rules (tinkering), selection can still use them in important and interesting ways.
2018 SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
Sergi Valverde, Jordi Piñero, Bernat Corominas-Murtra, José Montoya, Lucas Joppa, Ricard Solé (2018) The architecture of mutualistic networks as an evolutionary spandrel. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2:1, 94-99.
2018 FUNDED PROJECTS
Title: Predicción de Innovación Tecnológica en Redes de Culturómica (FIS2016-77447-R)
Funded by: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Pollinator network of Malpighiaceae oil-flowers and associated oil-collecting bees from a Brazillian steppe. Mutualistic interactions like these are very specialized and consistent with universal patterns of nested organisation. Our work shows how statistical properties of synthetic networks evolved by duplication and rewiring are equivalent to those of real-world networks.