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Dr. Chaitanya Gokhale

B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.


physical: Building 16.x // The Station Crescent // Oteha Rohe
tel: +64 9 4140800 ext xxxxx // email: c.gokhale(at)


2011-2014: PostDoc (Evolutionary Theory), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany

2008-2011: PhD (Natural Sciences), Christian Albrechts University, Kiel
& Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany
Thesis: “Evolutionary dynamics on multi-dimensional fitness landscapes” (Summa cum laude) Advisor: Prof. Dr. Arne Traulsen

2005-2008: M.Sc. (Bioinformatics), Pune University, India
Thesis: “Ab initio calculations on the HGPRT active site and the analysis of select mutations” (Score: 187/200) Advisor: Dr. Mrinalini Puranik

2002-2005: B.Sc. (Zoology and Biotechnology), Pune University, India


My main focus is on understanding the evolutionary dynamics of a variety of biological proceses by developing a mathematical description mainly utilising evolutionary game theory in conjunction with stochastic processes.

Evolution is the common theme linking everything in biology from individual alleles to language. The abstracted general principles of evolution can be represented by precise mathematical equations. Simplicity is invoked by making use of the minimum factors that matter. However all this is done to reduce the complexity of the natural world and thus results in a loss of information which may or may not be significant. How can we take this complexity into account if we aim at retrieving simple tractable explanations of biological principles? I am interested in tackling this question and to do so I use tools such as evolutionary game theory, population genetics, dynamical systems theory etc. . Besides making use of these tools I am actively engaged in expanding their foundations so that they can be applied to specific examples. Such a general view has helped me diversify into different fields ranging from population genetics, eco-evolutionary dynamics, information theory to genetic engineering. Here at Massey I aim to make use of these skills to contribute to the theory of the evolution of multicellularity as well as possibly provide a theoretical basis for other ongoing experimental research.


Bauer, B. and Gokhale, C. S. Repeatability of evolution on epistatic fitness landscapes. Scientific Reports (forthcoming).

Gokhale, C. S., Reeves, R. G. & Reed, F. A. Dynamics of a combined Medea-Underdominant Population Transformation System. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 14(1), p.98.

Gokhale C. S., Traulsen A. Evolutionary Multiplayer Games. Dynamic Games and Applications, DOI 10.1007/s13235-014-0106-2 (2014)

Gokhale, C. S., Papkou A., Traulsen, A. and Schulenburg H. S. Lotka-Volterra dy- namics kills the Red Queen: population size fluctuations and associated stochas- ticity dramatically change host-parasite coevolution, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13 (1), 254 (2013)

Wu, B., Traulsen, A. and Gokhale, C. S. Dynamic properties of evolutionary multi- player games in finite populations, Games, 4 (2), 182-99 (2013)

Wu, B., Gokhale, C. S., van Veelen M., Wang, L., and Traulsen A. Interpretations arising from Wrightian and Malthusian fitness under strong frequency dependent selection, Ecology and Evolution, 3 (5), 1276-1280, (2013)

Gokhale, C. S., and Traulsen A. Mutualism and evolutionary multiplayer games: Revisiting the Red King, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279 (1747), 4611- 4616 (2012)

Wu B., Gokhale, C. S., Wang L., and Traulsen A. How small are small mutation rates?, Journal of Mathematical Biology, 64 (5), 803-827 (2012)

Han T. A., Traulsen A., and Gokhale, C. S. On equilibrium properties of evolution- ary multiplayer games with random payoff matrices, Theoretical Population Biology, 81, 264-272 (2012)

Gokhale, C. S., and Traulsen A. Strategy abundance in evolutionary many player games with multiple strategies, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 283, 180-191. (2011)

Gokhale, C. S., and Traulsen A. Evolutionary games in the multiverse, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 107, 5500-5504 (2010) Selected for Complexity Digest 2010.08

Altrock P.M., Gokhale, C. S., and Traulsen A. Stochastic slowdown in evolutionary processes,Phys. Rev. E 80, 011909 (2010). Selected for the Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research.

Bhardwaj A., Mukerji M., Sharma S., Paul J.,Gokhale, C. S., Srivastava A. K., and Tiwari, S. MtSNPscore: A combined evidence approach for assessing cumulative impact of mitochondrial variations in disease, BMC Bioinformatics, 10 (Suppl 8), S7 (2009)

Gokhale, C. S., Y Iwasa, Nowak M.A., and Traulsen A. The pace of evolution across fitness valleys, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 259, 613-620 (2009)

Chaitanya Gokhale