Abrupt Transitions in Biological Systems from the Interplay of Nonlinearity and Inhomogeneity: Extinction of Populations of Mice and Bacteria
Friday February 17, 2012
|Presenter:||Dr. V. M. (Nitant) Kenkre (UNM)|
|Series:||Physics and Astronomy Colloquium|
One of the modern revolutions in theoretical physics is associated with nonlinearity and complexity. The talk will address the interplay of nonlinearity and inhomogeneity in biological/ecological systems. Abrupt transitions leading to population extinction will be investigated on the basis of a simple mathematical model. Exact analytic studies are possible in some contexts and approximation procedures are necessitated in others. Experiments for the verification of predicted phenomena will be described, some already performed, others proposed. Applications of the theory are to systems differing widely in the size of their constituents: bacteria in Petri dishes on the one hand and mice infected with the Hanta virus moving on the New Mexican landscape on the other.
The delight, the intellectual stimulation, and the widening of perspective that a physicist working in interdisciplinary science can expect to experience, as well as the harrowing trials and tribulations that are inevitable, will be commented upon.
|Location:||Room 125, Dane Smith Hall|
Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 3:45 pm, in the lobby of Dane Smith Hall.