Event Detail

Event Type: 
Mathematical Biology Seminar
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 16:00 to 17:00
BEXL 102

Speaker Info


Disruptive selection is an important diversifying force in evolution and ecology, underlying processes such as adaptive radiation and sympatric speciation and generating variation among individuals within populations. Most theory on disruptive selection is based on generalist consumers in which disruptive selection occurs through the availability of alternative resources and intraspecific competition for those resources. However, these evolutionary models often make ecologically unrealistic assumptions. First, most models assume that the consumer has a linear functional response, ignoring well-documented effects of handling and consumer interference. Second, this theory assumes that the trait under selection only influences per-capita attack rates of the consumer, ignoring other effects of the trait that may influence feeding rates and hence fitness. Here, I will develop one consumer-two resource model to investigate how nonlinear functional responses and ecologically pleiotropic traits (traits that have simultaneous, multifarious effects) influence the strength of disruptive selection. Using numerical analyses of the model under the adaptive dynamics framework, I will show how consumer handling times, interference, and their correlations with attack rates through an ecologically pleiotropic trait alter the strength of disruptive selection. Overall, my results will help to suggest the scenarios in which we should expect disruptive selection and its evolutionary and ecological consequences to be strongest.