Adaptive dynamics of pathogens

The 7th Jyväskylä Winter School of Ecology
Introduction to Evolutionary Ecology Modelling
17-19 February 2014

Adaptive dynamics is a theoretical framework to study evolution with a high degree of ecological realism, and with special emphasis on dynamical phenomena such as the origin and divergence of new lineages by evolutionary branching.

This course day will first introduce the basic models of infectious disease dynamics. We then lift the analysis to an evolutionary timescale, and investigate the evolution of the pathogen using the tools of adaptive dynamics.

Morning session

Lecture: The SIR model

Computer practical: Excel file, handout

Afternoon session

Lecture: The adaptive dynamics of pathogen virulence

Computer practical: Excel file, handout



  • Geritz, S. A. H., É. Kisdi, G. Meszéna, and J. A. J. Metz. 1998. Evolutionarily singular strategies and the adaptive growth and branching of the evolutionary tree. Evol. Ecol. 12:35-57.
  • Dieckmann U., J. A. J. Metz, M. W. Sabelis & K. Sigmund (eds). 2002. Adaptive dynamics of infectious diseases: In pursuit of virulence management. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Superinfection model:

  • Boldin B. & O. Diekmann. 2008. Superinfections can induce evolutionarily stable coexistence of pathogens. J. Math. Biol. 56: 635-672.
  • Boldin B., S. A. H. Geritz & E. Kisdi. 2009. Superinfections and adaptive dynamics of pathogen virulence revisited: A critical function analysis. Evol. Ecol. Res. 11: 153-175.

A collection of papers on adaptive dynamics is listed here.

Of related interest

Participants with sufficient mathematical background may be interested in a summer school on the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases (4th edition of The Helsinki Summer School on Mathematical Ecology and Evolution, August 2014, Finland).