How can more realistic mechanical and mechanistic descriptions of organisms and their interactions make ecological models more predictive and help us understand evolution of traits, their underlying genetics and the optimality trade-offs experienced by organisms? Prof. Øyvind Fiksen (Theoretical Ecology group, Department of Biosciences) will address these and other related questions at this breakfast seminar.
When we model how organisms interact with their environment or other organisms, we need to express processes in equations or in computer code. In ecology, as opposed to physics, we have a long tradition in ignoring the mechanics of interactions in our theories and models. We need a more mechanical ecology - in combination with evolutionary and trait-based perspectives, to build a predictive ecology. I'll show some examples of how ecological mechanics can inform us about trade-offs organisms face in nature, and how evolutionary optimality models predict solutions to these trade-offs. The link to genes and how they regulate life cycles or strategies of organisms are implicit in our models, but how gene expressions vary with environment is likely to constrain the options organisms have. For instance, annual- or diel routines of organisms, or the allocation to membrane structures in microbes, is there a gene-trait-model interface of use to us? Do the models bring the traits to a level of realism where genes are relevant?
About the seminars
"Digital Frukost" is an open breakfast seminar series focusing on research activities at the interface between the biological sciences and that of mathematics, computer science, physics or engineering. Examples of such research activities could be mathematical or computational modeling of biological systems, application of engineering/control systems theory on biological systems or inspired by biological systems, application of mathematics/statistics/machine learning to analyze big data in health or marine sector; from sensor systems, imaging or omics technologies etc.
The seminar will be at the Computational Biology Unit, Department of Informatics, UiB, 5. floor (Datablokken), Thormøhlens gate 55.
We hope to see many of you there!
As food will be served, please register your attendance using this link.