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NIMBioS Seminar Series

In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in the 1st floor visitor breakroom beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.

A. Mack photo.

Time/Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 3:30 p.m.*
Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Dr. Keenan Mack, NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellow
Topic: Spatial dependence of positive and negative species interactions
Abstract: When species feedbacks are negative, they can facilitate the maintenance of diversity by favoring heterospecifics. The average strengths of these feedbacks can predict the relative abundance of species within a community, suggesting that feedbacks are an important driver of community composition. When species feedbacks are positive, the maintenance of these cooperative interactions requires mechanisms such as spatial structure to prevent non-cooperative individuals from invading. However, selection for increased dispersal can erode that structure. I used spatially explicit computer simulations to test how these dynamics depend on dispersal and interaction distance. Increasing dispersal and interaction scale decreased the slope of the relationship between average feedback and abundance. Likewise, the stability of mutualism relied on the ability of mutualists to evolve shorter dispersal than non-mutualists. These results show how the dynamics of feedbacks depend on spatial structure.

*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m. in the 1st floor visitor breakroom.

For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit /seminars.

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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