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Giant Fluctuations in Population Dynamics |
Since the
celebrated essay of Malthus (1798), quantitative modeling of population
dynamics has attracted much interest from both scientists and the general
public. To a large extent, this interest is powered by the dangers of two
extreme types of population behavior. One extreme is extinction of a species
after maintaining a long-lived self-regulating population. The other extreme is
a Malthusian catastrophe, when a society returns to a subsistence level of existence
as a result of a too rapid population growth.
Theoretical
studies of these and other examples of giant fluctuations in population
dynamics and epidemiology have mostly proceeded at the interface between population
biology and probability theory. Recently, non-equilibrium statistical physics,
bringing with it a new arsenal of concepts, analytical methods and numerical
techniques, has been successfully applied to problems of population and
evolutionary dynamics. Examples are the impact of environmental noise on
population extinction and population front propagation, non-equilibrium phase
transitions in epidemics, stochastic population dynamics on networks, fluctuations
and scaling laws in speciation and biological evolution, etc. A critical
comparison of different perspectives on this class of problems is the focus of
this workshop. We propose to
bring together leading experts and young promising researchers working on
theory of large fluctuations in population and evolutionary dynamics. The
workshop will discuss new results and emerging paradigms and foster new
collaborations. [Back] |