Visiting Speaker: Alan McKane

Speaker: Alan McKane, Theory Group, Department of Physics,
         University of Manchester
When: 10am Thursday 19 August
Where: General Purpose South 78-420

We describe the properties of a model which links together the ecological
modelling of food web structure with the evolutionary modelling of
speciation and extinction events. The model describes the dynamics
of ecological communities on an evolutionary timescale. Species are
defined as sets of characteristic features, and these features are used
to determine interaction scores between species. A realistic population
dynamics, which incorporates these scores, is used to determine the
changes in population sizes on ecological time scales and so determine
mean population sizes. We measure various properties of the model webs
and compare these with data on real food webs. Other aspects of the model
have been investigated, such as the stability of the model to removal
and addition of species and the distribution of interaction strengths
in the evolved web, and these will be briefly mentioned.

World-class basic and applied inter-disciplinary research on questions fundamental to understanding, designing and managing complex systems
2009 The ARC Centre for Complex Systems, Australia