In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the NIMBioS Lecture Hall on the 4th floor of 1534 White Ave., Suite 400. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served beginning 30 minutes before each talk.
Time/Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 3:30 p.m.*
Location: Room 403, Blount Hall, 1534 White Ave., Suite 400
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Kanarek, NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellow
Topic: Ecological and evolutionary consequences of Allee effects in small founder populations of invasive species
Abstract: Despite the obvious threats invasive species pose to ecosystem health, studying the characteristics that influence their colonization can provide valuable insight on fundamental issues in ecology, evolution, and biogeography. This talk will focus on the role of intraspecific interactions and the implications of positive density dependence for the establishment and persistence of small founder populations. When individuals experience a low density of conspecifics, one or more components of their fitness may suffer (i.e., component Allee effects) and thus constrain population growth and spread (i.e., demographic Allee effects). This dynamical relationship between fitness and population size can be driven by a myriad of mechanisms, and provides selective pressure for adaptations to overcome Allee effects. In this research, I have theoretically explored how small founder populations can nonetheless succeed when faced with Allee effects and the conditions for a heightened risk of extinction. I will present a reaction-diffusion framework followed by individual-based simulations of increasing complexity in order to demonstrate the ecological and evolutionary consequences of Allee effects that influence successful colonization.
*Join us for refreshments in the NIMBioS Lobby on the 4th floor at 3 p.m.
Seminar Flyer (pdf)