Event Detail

Event Type: 
Mathematical Biology Seminar
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:00 to 12:50
Kidd 236

Speaker Info

University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Population dynamics and evolutionary genetics underly the structure of ecosystems,
changing on the same timescale for interacting species with rapid turnover, such as viruses like HIV
and the host immune response. Thus, an important problem in mathematical modeling is to connect ecology,
evolution and genetics, which often have been treated separately. Here, I present work to link pathogen population genetics with dynamics theoretically and through data to characterize their evolution. We first find stability and persistence results for a generalized prey-predator ecosystem model of multiple virus and immune populations. Assuming viral strains can be represented by binary sequences coding their resistance to immune responses, we prove that bifurcations are determined by viral fitness landscape epistasis. Next, I will discuss a collaborative project where this eco-evolutionary modeling framework is connected to viral genomic and immune population data sampled from experiments of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection. The mathematical models can shed light on viral adaptation to immune response and may point to potential immunotherapies, which motivates further work to unite population genetics and dynamics of rapidly evolving pathogens.