Biomathematics Seminar: Physics and Biogeography: how field theory can help solve problems in ecology
19 January 2010 14:15 in CM107
Predicting the variation of biodiversity across the surface of the Earth is a fundamental issue in ecology, and in this talk I will focus on one of the most widely studied spatial biodiversity patterns: the Species-Area Relationship (SAR). The SAR is a central tool in conservation, being used to predict species loss, and it tends to display power-law behaviour throughout different geographic regions and across the Tree of Life. I will draw upon the methods of quantum field theory to derive predictions for this power law, and a number of other spatial patterns. No prior knowledge of ecology or field theory will be assumed.