How do animal territories form and change? A mathematical approach

Jonathan Potts (University of Sheffield)

Thursday 25th January, 2018 14:00-15:00 311B Mathematics and Statistics Building


(Lunch with the speaker will be at One A The Square, leaving from the school front foyer at 12.45.)
Territoriality, whereby animals of a given species exclude one another from parts of space, is ubiquitous within the animal kingdom. Territories emerge from the movements and interactions of individual animals through processes that can be analysed mathematically. We will uncover various necessary processes for territory formation, using both linear and non-linear analysis of partial differential equations (i.e. Turing patterns and energy functionals). Territories can also change in time as the animal's environment varies and asymmetric groups compete for resources. Invading a neighbour, thus expanding the territory temporarily, can be an effective means of survival when resources are low. This talk will reveal the conditions under which such strategies are beneficial despite the resulting cost of neighbour aggression.

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