March 6 2017

12:00 158 HH

This seminar is sponsored by EEB and QCB

Michael Cortez
Department of Mathematics Statistics
Utah State University

Inference from time series data: How does (co)evolution alter the population-level dynamics of predator-prey systems?


Predators and their prey can exhibit cyclic fluctuations over time. Experimental and theoretical ecological studies predict that during predator-prey cycles peaks in prey abundance precede peaks in predator abundance. However, other kinds of cycles have been observed in microbial predator-prey systems. For example, in a phage-cholera chemostat system, peaks in cholera follow peaks in phage; this is the reverse of what is predicted by ecological theory. These cycles motivate the question, 'why do cycle characteristics differ across systems?' Using theoretical models, I explore and characterize how evolution in prey, predators, or both species can alter cycle characteristics and drive qualitatively different community dynamics. I also show how these models can be used to predict how increased genetic variation in a species alters system stability. I revisit empirical times series from a suite of microbial systems and show how the cycle characteristics predicted in my theoretical models can be used to infer when rapid (co)evolution has a significant influence on the population-level dynamics of those systems.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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