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Simon Segar

Completed

Simon is collecting data at our Indonesian forest site for his PhD on speciation and community ecology of non- pollinating fig-wasps. Simon together with Professor James Cook have found that during mutualism, a cooperative relationship between two different species, a third parasitic species may help to keep the relationship stable. During mutualism, both species benefit. However, the long-term relationship between them can be threatened by individuals who take too much advantage of the relationship in the short-term for their own benefit. This new research suggests that the stable mutualism between tropical figs and pollinator wasps, which is about 100 million years old, may be maintained partly by parasitic wasps. This is contrary to the commonly held belief that parasites always have a negative effect

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