Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources
Evolutionary pressures, Infectious Diseases, and Self-Organizing Social Systems
Cosponsored with the Collective Dynamics of Complex Systems (CoCo) Research Group, the Undergraduate Math Club, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, and Pi Mu Epsilon
September 23, 2013
Academic Building A G008, 5:00 PM
In social species, animals rely on successful on-going group dynamics for continued survival. However, as social behavior increases, so do the risks from infectious disease. Teasing apart group-level risks and benefits to understand how they affect the evolutionary success of participating individuals is critical in formulating theories about how disease can have shaped the evolution of social species. While these questions are nearly impossible to examine empirically, mathematical modeling provides an elegant way to investigate the individual-level evolutionary impact of infectious disease and social behavior. In this talk, we’ll examine a few models that start to shed light on how selective pressures from disease may have acted on the evolution of social systems.
Professor Fefferman is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, and is also an active member of the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) and of the Dept of Homeland Security Center of Excellence CCICADA. Fefferman uses mathematical modeling to examine the evolutionary and ecological relationships among individual behavior, societal organization, and the spread of infectious diseases. Her applied work focuses on discovering how insights from basic research on systems in the natural world can solve real-world problems in areas of public health, bio-defense, pandemic preparedness, and sometimes even cybersecurity. She has consulted for the National Defense University, DARPA, the CDC, and multiple national laboratories and private companies. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Tufts University in 2004, her MS in mathematics from Rutgers University in 2001, and her AB in mathematics from Princeton University in 1999.
Systems Approach to Studying Animal Sociality: Individual Position versus Group Organization in Dynamic Social Network Models
Talk starts 2:35 in.
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