Tuesday, 24 January 2017

BioMaths Colloquium - 27/01/2017

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2016/17

27 January 2017 - 3pm Maths Seminar Room

(room 224 Talbot Building 2nd floor)

Towards a richer evolutionary game theory

Professor John McNamara

(School of Mathematics,University of Bristol, UK

It is our pleasure to resume the BioMaths Colloquium Series for the winter term with a seminar by Professor John McNamara from the School of Mathematics at the University of Bristol. John is a mathematician with a keen interest in developing new methods and models for the study of animal behaviour. His work has markedly advanced the fields of behavioural and evolutionary ecology, including topics such as overwinter survival strategies, annual routines, adaptation to fluctuating environments and trans-generational effects, or the dawn chorus in birds, with a keen focus on investigating the ecological rationality of behavioural strategies and developing evolutionary game theory. John is a Fellow of the Royal Society, joint winner of the Hamilton Award of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology in 2008, joint winner of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Medal in 2013, and winner of the Weldon Memorial Prize in 2014.

from http://idcd.info/
Evolutionary game theory predicts and explains what will evolve in populations in which there are conflicts of interest between population members. To do so biologists make mathematical models which capture essential aspects of the underlying biology. These necessarily simplify the world, but are often too simple; for example, leaving out essential features such as the variation between individuals within a population, and ignoring how individuals gain information and interact with others. Much work also assumes an idealised world in which both the ecology of an animal and its psychological mechanisms are ignored. I argue that to understand the natural world we need models of greater richness. To do so I present a series of models that illustrate that adding richness can radically change predictions.

The discussions will continue over biscuits and tea/coffee after the seminar. 
Hope to see many of you!

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