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Some Mathematical Questions in Biology--Models in Population Biology
Edited by: Alan Hastings
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Lectures on Mathematics in the Life Sciences
1989; 123 pp; softcover
Volume: 20
ISBN-10: 0-8218-1170-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-1170-2
List Price: US$38
Member Price: US$30.40
Order Code: LLSCI/20
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Population biology has had a long history of mathematical modeling. The 1920s and 1930s saw major strides with the work of Lotka and Volterra in ecology and Fisher, Haldane, and Wright in genetics. In recent years, much more sophisticated mathematical techniques have been brought to bear on questions in population biology. Simultaneously, advances in experimental and field work have produced a wealth of new data. While this growth has tended to fragment the field, one unifying theme is that similar mathematical questions arise in a range of biological contexts.

This volume contains the proceedings of a symposium on Some Mathematical Questions in Biology, held in Chicago in 1987. The papers all deal with different aspects of population biology, but there are overlaps in the mathematical techniques used; for example, dynamics of nonlinear differential and difference equations form a common theme. The topics covered are cultural evolution, multilocus population genetics, spatially structured population genetics, chaos and the dynamics of epidemics, and the dynamics of ecological communities.

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Table of Contents

  • P. J. Richerson and R. Boyd -- Social learning as an adaptation
  • A. Hastings -- Deterministic multilocus population genetics: An overview
  • T. Nagylaki -- The diffusion model for migration and selection
  • G. L. Truty and W. M. Schaffer -- Chaos versus noise-driven dynamics
  • P. L. Chesson -- A general model of the role of environmental variability in communities of competing species
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