Henrik Sjödin

Henrik Sjödin uses mathematical models to show how migration between groups can transform simple, non-cooperative communities into highly cooperative ones.

The ubiquity of cooperation among non-relatives is one of the most puzzling facts in science. While interesting theoretically, understanding the nature of cooperation, for instance around common-pool resources such as climate, will be central in safeguarding a sustainable future. Previous and recent works have highlighted the importance of the emergence of cooperation in large populations subdivided into groups (e.g. [1], [2], [3]). In this project I study the emergence of group structures resulting from migration behaviors in large communities, and the resulting effects on cooperation.

Through analytical and numerical exploration of mathematical formulations of stochastic individual-based Markovian processes of (a) inter-group migration, (b) social learning, and (c) exploration of migration strategies, I aim to show how these three types of processes interact and to what levels cooperation becomes established within the emerging group-structured communities.

Results show novel bottom-up effects on cooperation in large communities, which provide new insights in the emergence and maintenance of cooperation. A universal between-groups migration behavior inevitably develops over time in populations, which also transforms simple non-cooperative communities into highly cooperative communities. It is principally a very simple migration behavior built upon free choice. The new insights will facilitate understanding of top-down regulation of cooperative communities and governance of common goods.

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Funding: Kempe Foundation, Sweden

Nationality: Swedish

Program: Evolution and Ecology Program

Dates: July 2014 – August 2016 

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Last edited: 18 January 2017


Aleksandra Cofala

Capacity Development Coordinator Capacity Development and Academic Training Unit

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Postdoctoral research at IIASA


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