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!

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 26 January 2017

Biosciences Seminar Series - Winter 2017
26 January 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Microevolution in Pacific island white-eyes

Dr Sonya Clegg

Our seminar series continues for the winter term with a talk by Dr Sonya Clegg from the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford. Sonya is a Lecturer in Evolutionary Ecology interested in understanding the evolutionary processes that promote divergence in wild vertebrate systems. Specifically, her work clusters around three major lines of research. Using avian systems in the South Pacific region(New Caledonia, Vanuatu) Sonya investigates the processes that both promote and inhibit the generation of biodiversity. To understand the nature of phenotypic evolution, she quantifies the temporal dynamics of natural selection in an individually colour-ringed population of silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis chlorocephalus) in Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Finally, Sonya investigates the dynamics of genomic divergence in island colonizing birds using members of the Zosteropidae family in Pacific Islands as study system.

Clegg & Phillimore 2010
Biologists have a good understanding of the evolutionary processes required to generate divergence between populations. But why do some populations diverge rapidly from one another, while others do not?  White-eyes are excellent island colonisers and one of the 'great speciators', with numerous forms at different stages of divergence across the south-west Pacific region. In this talk I describe the patterns observed across island populations, along with my work identifying the relative roles of selection and drift in generating these patterns. I conclude by giving a summary of ongoing work and future plans investigating why a species that is a great disperser can rapidly lose dispersal ability once a new island is colonised, and how divergence in the presence and absence of gene flow may generate different genomic signatures.

Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here, and here

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 19 January 2017

Biosciences Seminar Series - Winter 2017
19 January 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Improving marine management by accounting for spatial heterogeneity in management costs and stakeholder preferences

Dr Katrina Davis

Our seminar series resumes for the winter term with a speaker from Australia, Dr Katrina Davis from the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions at the University of Queensland. Katrina is broadly interested in identifying ways to optimise natural resource use to maximise the productivity of human and ecological systems, e.g. by developing ways to include management costs into spatial planning, consider how to incorporate expert and stakeholder preferences and how to incorporate non-market valuation into spatial optimisation of marine resource use.  

The exploitation of fish stocks has increased over time, as have negative impacts to the marine environment from anthropogenic activities. Subsequent deterioration in marine environmental health can be addressed by accounting for spatial heterogeneity in marine management costs and in stakeholder preferences for management. 

In this presentation, I will discuss how marine management in central Chile changes when monitoring and enforcement costs are taken into account, and why marine stakeholders may choose not to enforce locally managed marine resources despite the demonstrated benefits of doing so. I will also describe a survey which elicits spatially explicit non-market values for marine ecological features at a case study area in South-East Queensland in Australia. Results from this work demonstrate how the community can have spatially explicit preferences for marine management. 

Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here, and here