Santorelli is a research fellow in the Zoology department, University of Oxford. He is interested in investigating the evolution of cooperative behaviors of macro and microorganisms.
While discussions of cooperation and conflict are common in the study of animal and human societies, only within the last few decades we have realized that these acts also occur in more primitive, microscopic forms of life, such as amoebae or bacteria. The field of Sociobiology explains and investigates how social behaviour has resulted from evolution. Major focus is now aimed at extrapolating genetic and other experimental evidence from model studies on micro-organisms and insect societies to apply to human cooperation via research on economic-based game theory and evolutionary psychology. Unlike human societies, microbes are incapable of defining complex rules, laws, traditions and morals, yet they still manage to harbor social interactions in many different contexts, such as the division of labour, communication and kin recognition. Studying micro-organisms has given us an insight of what can be the genetic basis of many social behaviours and how cooperation can be stable even in the face of selfishness and cheating