How symbiotic is your collaboration

Symbiosis is a central tenet of bioteams which in bioteams means you should ‘partner date’ widely but commit to partners very carefully. But according to wikipedia there are four different types of symbiotic behavior possible between two different biological species.


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The Cartoon is copyright David Farley (Dr Fun)

The four types of symbiosis

  1. Parasitism “I WIN – YOU LOSE” (+ -)

    The association is disadvantageous or destructive to one of the organisms and beneficial to the other
  2. Mutualism “I WIN – YOU WIN” (+ +)
    The association is advantageous to both
  3. Commensalism “I WIN” (+ 0) (and I don’t really care whether you WIN or LOSE)
    One member of the association benefits while the other is not affected – the main types of commensalism are using the waste from another, using another for transport or using another for shelter or housing.
  4. Amensalism “YOU LOSE” (- 0)
    The association is disadvantageous to one member while the other is not affected. To clarify Amensalism is an interaction between two species where one impedes or restricts the success of the other while not being affected, positively or negatively, by the presence of the other

I challenge you to identify the ten people you spent most time working with on a regular basis and make an honest assessment of what kind of symbiosis best characterises the type of relationship you are in with them.
If you are brave you could then ask each of them the same question from their perspective!

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