Immersion Lecture: Population Ecology – Spatial Questions & Methods to Model Them

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Time of Event: 
Monday, August 31, 2015 -
10:15 to 11:00

In this second of two lectures on population ecology, Dr. Bill Fagan addresses key spatial questions in population ecology and presents several methodological approaches to address spatial issues. He notes the range of ways that space is conceptualized and represented in population ecology, from individual geographic coordinates, to patch models to sets of patches and gradients. He uses the example of metapopulation studies to discuss population dynamics among several patches of populations and links this approach to human conservation concerns about invasive species and extinction. He then describes integrodifference equations as one method for modeling spatial dynamics among populations and their relationships across the landscape. He introduces the concept of a dispersal kernel as a measurement of the dispersal distance and rate of individuals in a population and resources across the landscape.

Reading List

Hastings, A., Cuddington, C., Davies, K.F., Dugaw, C.J., Freestone, A., Harrison, S., Holland, M., Lambrinos, J., Malvadkar, U., Melbourne, B.A., Moore, K., Taylor, C., and Thomson, D. 2005. The spatial spread of invasions: New developments in theory and evidence. Ecology Letters, 8(1), 91–101.

Presentation Slides

Click here to download the presentation slides.

Bill Fagan is Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at the University of Maryland. He received an Honors BA from the University of Delaware (1992) and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Washington (1996), and then did a postdoc at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. His research, which emphasizes the interplay between data and theory, sits at the interface of mathematics and biology, where he has worked on a wide range of ecological topics with many collaborators from diverse fields. An elected Fellow of both the Ecological Society of America and the AAAS, he also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Presidential Award of the American Society of Naturalists. Over his career, he has worked on a variety of projects in spatial ecology, quantitative conservation biology, and ecological stoichiometry (which focuses on the elemental balances underlying protein evolution, population growth, and species interactions).

Event type: 
Immersion Speaker
Event Attendance: 
Private Working Group
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