Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

Evolutionary Models in Structured Populations
Christoforos Hadjichrysanthou

Last modified: 2014-04-01


The evolution of populations has been an issue of great concern in the last centuries. Game theory has been proved to be a powerful mathematical tool for the description and study of the evolution of biological and other populations consisting of interacting individuals. Evolutionary game dynamics have been traditionally studied in infinitely large homogeneous populations, where each individual is equally likely to interact with every other individual. However, real populations are finite and characterised by complex interactions among individuals. Such populations can be represented by graphs. This study explores the influence of the population contact structure on the outcome of various stochastic evolutionary processes. It first investigates analytically the evolution on three simple graphs: the complete, the circle and the star. It then proposes an effective deterministic model to describe stochastic evolutionary dynamics, providing a flexible way to perform a systematic analysis of the dynamics on a wide range of complex heterogeneous graphs.

The tools provided by game theory are also used for the modelling of the evolution of kleptoparasitic populations, foraging populations in which animals can steal prey from other animals for their survival. Through a game-theoretical approach, the role of the population structure in the appearance of this behaviour is considered. At the end, a model is developed and analysed for the investigation of the ecological conditions that encourage foraging animals to share their prey in kleptoparasitic populations.