Red King

Hosts and parasites co-evolve against each other - as hosts become more resistant, parasites become better at infecting their hosts - but resistance and infectivity come at a cost, as they take energy away from other vital aspects of survival. The 'Red Queen' is an evolutionary hypothesis which says that organisms need to constantly adapt to survive while pitted against other opposing evolving organisms - it's a term borrowed from Lewis Carrolls book Through the Looking-Glass: 'Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place'. The 'Red King' is a relatively recent bit of theory, which says that slower evolution might be better sometimes.

We're working with researchers at the University of Exeter to understand the Red King. When hosts and parasites are pitted against each other in simulations - and certain parameters are changed - what happens? Under what circumstances can hosts and parasites reach an evolutionary compromise?

Turning information into sound can be a way to experience patterns in data differently in order to gain new insights. We experimenting with different ways of doing this, combining rhythmic and pitch changes to focus on what we are interested in, and thinking about ways we can make this into a citizen science project where it is opened out to allow anyone to participate in the research.

You can see our tests here.

redking simulation test
pathogens and parasites tile pink on grey
right banner red king
red king graphs
red king simulation page

Viruscraft next steps

Following on from the first viruscraft workshop, we can now start planning the viruscraft game. The field of virology from ...

Data sonification for citizen science

We're working on two sonification projects at FoAM Kernow - Red King and Sonic Kayaks - so have started looking into ...

Red King and crowd computing

We've started a new project called the Red King. Researchers have developed models of host and parasite evolution, and ...

Red King: Host/Parasite co-evolution citizen science

A new project begins, on the subject of ecology and evolution of infectious disease. This one is a little different ...