The goal of this course is for students to gain confidence in their ability to formulate and analyze ecological and evolutionary models. The course consists of one lecture and one computer lab per week. In the lab, students use software to apply the basic analytical techniques developed in the lectures to various population models. In addition, students gain hands-on experience in setting up numerical simulations to investigate the dynamics of deterministic and stochastic, individual-based population models. The course is intended for both undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in mathematical modeling. Ideally, participants would have BIOL 301 (or an equivalent introductory course) as a prerequisite.
Part I: Ecological models Formulation of basic population models Exponential growth and the logistic equation for continuous generations: stability and cyclic dynamics in competition and predator-prey models Exponential growth and the Ricker equation for discrete generations: stability, cobwebbing and chaos Stochastic models for population dynamics
Part II: Evolutionary models Invasion of rare mutations and the probability of fixation From invasion analysis to evolutionary dynamics Game theory and adaptive dynamics Evolution of diversity and speciation