Topic: Synchrony in Biological Systems Across Multiple Scales
Meeting dates: April 11-13, 2011
Alan Hastings (Environmental Science and Policy, Univ. of California, Davis, CA)
Tim Lewis (Dept. of Mathematics, Univ. of California, Davis, CA)
Michael Bonsall (Dept. of Zoology, Univ. of Oxford, Oxford, UK)
Objectives. Synchronous oscillatory activity and phase-locking in general are universal phenomena that occur in biological systems ranging from the level of intracellular dynamics to population dynamics across thousands of kilometers. The study of synchrony from a mathematical standpoint has had a very long history going back at least as far as Huygens in the 1600's. However, there are still many unanswered questions involving synchronization that are of central biological importance. The importance of synchrony in many different fields of biological and physical sciences has led to large bodies of literature on synchrony that have little cross-referencing. This workshop brought together a diverse group of researchers from mathematics and statistics and the biological sciences including ecology and neuroscience. We explored how ideas about the study of synchrony in one field can provide novel insights into questions of synchrony in another field. We also identified what are real gaps in the theory of synchrony from a biological perspective and identified where progress is possible.
Click here for more information on workshop's central theme.
Evaluation report (PDF)
Overview: What Is Synchrony? (Alan Hastings)
Synchrony & Ecological Dynamics (Michael Bonsall)
Synchrony, Phase-Shift Synchrony, and Synchony-Breaking (Marty Golubitsky)
Spatio-Temporal Statistics (Noel Cressie)
Synchrony in Neural Systems (Tim Lewis)
Movies (click images below to play):
|Fast excitatory synapses (33 sec)||Slow excitatory synapses (50 sec)||Topological target patterns (40 sec)|
Background Reading (and Viewing) Material
Steven Strogatz on Sync (20 minute video). Mathematician Steven Strogatz shows how flocks of creatures (like birds, fireflies and fish) manage to synchronize and act as a unit -- when no one's giving orders. The powerful tendency extends into the realm of objects, too.
Liebhold, A., W. D. Koenig, et al. (2004). Spatial synchrony in population dynamics. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 35:467-490. [Download PDF]
M. A. Schwemmer and T.J. Lewis (2011) The Theory of Weakly Coupled Oscillators. Chapter in book: PRCs in Neuroscience: Theory, Experiment and Analysis (eds. N.Schultheiss, A.Prinz, R. Butera). Springer. (preprint) [Download PDF].
Strogatz, S. H. (2000). From Kuramoto to Crawford: exploring the onset of synchronization in populations of coupled oscillators. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena 143(1-4):1-20. [Online]
Stewart, I., M. Golubitsky, et al. (2003). Symmetry groupoids and patterns of synchrony in coupled cell networks. SIAM J. Appl. Dynam. Sys 2(4):609–646.
(Biologically oriented readers should skim this, rather than get lost in the details!)
Gilman RT, Fabina NS, Abbott KC, Rafferty NE. 2012. Evolution of plant-pollinator mutualisms in response to climate change. Evolutionary Applications, 5(1): 2-16. [Online]
Logdberg F, Wennergren U. 2012. Spectral color, synchrony, and extinction risk. Theoretical Ecology, 5(4): 545-554. [Online]
Cressie N. August 2011. Spatio-temporal statistics. CSIRO Workshop on Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia.
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