Why theoreticians love their "What if?" scenarios

Hanna Kokko
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Abstract: Why would anyone study life cycles that do not even exist in nature? Why would anyone contrast a bat and a mouse in terms of annual survival and ignore all other differences between them? I will reflect on two very different models from my lab, investigating sexual conflict and senescence respectively, where we intentionally study caricatures of what happens in nature - and we still believe this is a useful exercise.