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Plenary Lecture 5: Survival of the unfit - how demographic noise can create suboptimal species

Presented by: 
T Rogers University of Bath
Wednesday 10th September 2014 - 16:20 to 16:55
INI Seminar Room 1
Co-author: Alan J McKane (University of Manchester)

Competition between individuals drives the evolution of whole species. When the fittest individuals survive the longest and produce the most offspring, it is conventionally assumed that the resulting species will therefore also be optimally fit. In fact, this reasoning is not always correct. Using theoretical analysis and stochastic simulations of a simple model ecology, we demonstrate how the fitness of evolved populations depends on the detail of the competitive interaction. In particular, if competition is mediated by the consumption of a common resource then demographic noise leads to the stabilisation of species with near minimal fitness.

Related Links: • - Perprint describing the work in detail

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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons