Social evolution

Social evolution is the area of evolutionary biology that studies how social interactions, especially between individuals of the same species, arise, change and are maintained. A particular focus is on how cooperative behaviour can be beneficial despite the intuitive advantages of being selfish.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    Why do males typically compete more intensely for mating opportunities than do females and how does this relate to sex differences in gamete size? A new study provides a formal evolutionary link between gamete size dimorphism and ‘Bateman gradients’, which describe how much individuals of each sex benefit from additional matings.

    • Jonathan M. Henshaw
    • , Adam G. Jones
    •  & Lukas Schärer
  • Editorial |

    Diversity of thought and perspective fosters innovation and productivity. Equity is an ethical imperative. There is plenty of scope to improve both diversity and equity in our field and this issue’s Focus puts the spotlight on actions today for a more inclusive tomorrow.

  • Editorial
    | Open Access

    More than two centuries ago Henri de Saint-Simon envisaged physical laws to describe human societies. Driven by advances in statistical physics, network science, data analysis, and information technology, this vision is becoming a reality. Many of the grandest challenges of our time are of a societal nature, and methods of physics are increasingly playing a central role in improving our understanding of these challenges, and helping us to find innovative solutions. The Social physics Collection at Scientific Reports is dedicated to this research.

    • Matjaž Perc
  • News & Views |

    An assessment of how social spider populations respond to tropical cyclones sheds light on the role that extreme climatic events play in driving trait evolution contributing to local adaptation.

    • Eric I. Ameca
  • News & Views |

    The identification of a set of conserved genes that has had stable expression patterns over 120 million years of ant evolution provides a glimpse into the mechanisms that generate queen and worker castes in ants.

    • Sarah D. Kocher