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Population dynamics in heterogeneous environments

Grant number: 13/14592-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 16, 2013
Effective date (End): June 15, 2014
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - General Physics
Principal Investigator:Roberto André Kraenkel
Grantee:Gabriel Andreguetto Maciel
Supervisor abroad: Frithjof Lutscher
Home Institution: Instituto de Física Teórica (IFT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Ottawa (uOttawa), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:11/08166-0 - Dynamics of Interacting Populations in time and space, BP.DR

Abstract

The central subject of this project is the study of population dynamics in heterogeneous environments: how do individuals move and interact in space and how does population density change through time? Landscape quality can vary greatlybetween different regions, and these differences tend to increase over time as natural areas become progressively fragmented, induced by natural disturbances or human activities. In this project we will use a mathematical modelling approachto investigate how individual movement and population growth interact with habitat heterogeneity to generate population patterns in space and time. We choose reaction-diffusion equations as the standard modeling framework. Our particular focus lies on the impact of individual movement behavior across interfaces between habitat types and how individuals respond to the presence of these edges. We have recently presented the first step in this analysis by considering the dynamics of a single species. The research proposed for this internship consists in significantly extending previous theories to include different local dynamics and interacting species. We will thereby be able to connect individual level mechanisms to population levelpatterns, which is one of the major goals in theoretical ecology. (AU)