Three-year PhD position on modeling the evolution of human cooperation in the context of climate change and climate extremes

Full-time, fully funded position based in Paris, France. Starting October 1, 2019.


Project summary: Promoting human cooperation towards public goods is particularly challenging, and quantitative theory is scarce. We propose to develop general models for the joint evolutionary dynamics of cooperation and social norms, and apply these models to the problem of cooperation in response to anthropogenic climate change. Of particular interest is the effect of environmental fluctuations, including extreme climatic events, with the goal of predicting their effects across scales of time, space, and social structure. This interdisciplinary project will advance the mathematical framework of cultural evolution and human cooperation, and yield novel insights into the emergence and dynamics of ‘cultures of cooperation’ in the face of global environmental challenges. 


Key words: Human cooperation. Cultural evolution. Non-vertical transmission. Transmission bias. Variable environment. Environmental extremes. Climate change. Game theory. Adaptive dynamics. Mathematical modeling. Nonlinear stochastic processes. Macroscopic limits. 


Advising: The doctoral student will be co-advised by *Regis Ferriere* (IBENS Paris and CNRS-ENS/PSL UMI iGLOBES at the University of Arizona), *Sylvie Méléard* (Centre de Mathématiques Appliquées, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau), *Jean-Baptiste André* (Institut Jean Nicod du Département d'Etudes Cognitives de l'ENS Paris) and *Sylvain Billiard* (Laboratoire Evo-Eco-Paléo de l'Université de Lille). The graduate program and primary advisor will be determined according to the student's main areas of training and long-term objectives. The student will be based in Paris, France, with an official affiliation with CNRS-ENS/PSL UMI iGLOBES at the University of Arizona where s/he will be given the opportunity to work for extended time. 


Required qualification: We are looking for highly motivated applicants with a strong interest in mathematical and numerical modeling of population dynamics. Applicants' background may be in behavior, cognition, ecology, and/or evolution with strong experience in theory and modeling; or in applied mathematics (stochastic processes, game theory, dynamical systems...), theoretical physics or computational science with strong experience or motivation for applications to behavior, ecology, and evolution.



Applying: Applicants should have completed a Master degree or equivalent by the position start date. Applications should include a detailed CV (including name and contact information of two references) and a cover letter (statement of interest). *Applications should be sent to Regis Ferriere.* Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled.