[S11] Evolution of communication signals

Communication involves a sender producing a signal, which is transmitted through the environment and perceived by a receiver. Communication signals serve organisms in a wide variety of ways and typically attract or repel intended receivers. Flowers use for example both colour and vagrants to attract their pollinators whereas eyespots on moths serve to scare off predators. The costs, benefits and reliability of signals can vary strongly across time and space as well as across different context. Furthermore, signals often consist of components that can be perceived through a variety of different sensory systems from the same, or different species. Understanding signal evolution thus requires a multidisciplinary approach that links the traits that underlie signalling behaviour and assesses the selection pressures imposed on them by intended and unintended receivers across different environments. This symposium invites contributions on the ubiquity, underlying mechanisms and function of communication signals to give impetus towards multidisciplinary research on the evolutionary pressures that might have given rise and maintain communication signals. In particular, we are interested in contributions that compare selection pressures across different sensory systems (multimodal signalling), or across different parts of the signalling pathway (linking production with transmission and perception). 
Organizers: Wouter Halfwerk, Katharina Riebel
Invited speakers: Candy Rowe, Astrid Groot