The scientific study of short- and long-term changes in the size and age composition of populations and the processes driving these changes.

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Why our bees might have suddenly disappeared

We have a large garden in Bedfordshire, UK, next to woods and to arable fields currently planted with intensively farmed rape. We usually have many bees in the garden. Earlier this year, things were ...
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26 views

What happened to the gypsy moth epidemics in the Northeast US?

I remember that back in the 1980s, 1980-1984, gypsy moths were a veritable plague in the Northeast United States. They were literally everywhere. Sidewalks were covered with their squashed bodies (of ...
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doubt with a multiple choice question [closed]

Permanent decrease in population would occur due to- A) Migration B) Natality C) Emigration D) Mortality E) Territoriality . It's obvious that C) & D) options are possible . But I'm confused ...
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44 views

How much do urban pigeons move around cities?

Do they tend to live their lives in one area of the city or do they move around? For example, do pigeons born on London's Trafalgar Square live their whole lives centered around Trafalgar Square or ...
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87 views

Guide to learning about Population biology / ecology / dynamics for a non-Biologist

I'm an applied mathematician who works in the field of feedback control systems but has been becoming interested in looking at population biology (e.g. Lotka-Volterra, Mathusian growth,etc.) from a ...
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Population size and genetic drift - What are the evidences?

Wright-Fisher model From the Wright-Fisher model of genetic drift, the random sampling of allele from one generation to the next is taken from a binomial distribution with parameters $2N$ and $p$, ...
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51 views

Is $F_{ST}$ a probability and a correlation coefficient?

$F_{ST}$ is one of the most famous and most important statistics of all of evolutionary biology. Yet, many people misunderstand it or misuse the classical results from the literature on $F_{ST}$ (...
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23 views

Monod Kinetics--Growth of E.Coli in a Bioreactor

I am doing a study for a lab class. We are growing E. Coli in a bioreactor. We want to vary the volume of the initial biophase which we add after the substrate has been brought to 37 degrees C. My ...
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189 views

Population dynamics ODE with Allee Effects

From reading about Allee effects, it appears that there is a modification of the one-dimensional logistic equation to account for an allee effect given by: $$\frac{dN(t)}{dt} = rN\left(1-\frac{N}{K} \...
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110 views

Would a colony with only one male and female collapse?

This is a thought experiment: If we form a population with only a single founder pair, can this population survive? What would happen? Would this inbreeding cause the population to go extinct? Could ...
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39 views

How many children could Hunter-Gatherer support?

Hunter-Gatherers, to my knowledge, have to cover a fair amount of ground in order to be able to live off the land. This ought to have a placed a limitation on the number of children that they could ...
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108 views

Stochastic parameters in population growth equations

I'm more of a mathematician than a biologist, so I had a question about an application of the population growth equation to real-life models, and thus would like to ask biologists for their insights. ...
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79 views

Basic reproduction number in epidemiology

The basic reproduction number $R_0$ of diseases depends on the population size (or the number of susceptible individuals). The commonly reported $R_0$ is based on what population size (when they do ...
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46 views

What do “reduced antipredator defense” and “reduced antipredator vigilance” mean?

The book BIOMAT 2010 (International Symposium on Mathematical and Computational Biology, edited by Rubem P. Mondaini) mentions the terms reduced antipredator defense and reduced antipredator vigilance....
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62 views

How to determine the relationship of competition or cooperation?

I am currently studying the interaction of Twitter memes (two or many), such as competition and cooperation. Is there any model or method in biology that can identify the types of the relationship, ...
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259 views

Examples of prey predator interactions where density of predator is very low and prey form groups when the predator attacks the prey for food

Examples of prey predator interactions where density of predator is very low (has a threat of extinction) and prey form groups when the predator attacks the prey for food. I have searched this in ...
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774 views

Is global life expectancy normally distributed?

I am trying to find out what the world distribution of life expectancy looks like.
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18 views

Where can I find a global life expectancy table?

I've found good information on specific countries and demographics, but I can't seem to find global numbers. I know that the world life expectancy is around 71.0, but I'm trying to get a percentile ...
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87 views

Is it possible for two people to repopulate earth? [closed]

Today I was wondering this question whether it is possible for two people to repopulate Earth. What if everyone else disappeared, except for two people (man & woman)? Can they repopulate? In ...
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89 views

Neanderthal and modern human population sizes

Are there any estimates of both the modern human and Neanderthal population sizes over the last, say, 100 k years? Since "purebread" Neanderthals are extinct, their population has to hit zero; that ...
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30 views

Genetics of Hybrids

I'm working on this problem, but I'm not sure I've done it correctly. My initial thought was that the answer was $D$, but I don't see anything in the above graph that indicated the Hybrid species is,...
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75 views

History: Do evolutionary and ecological processes occur at the same timescales?

Classically, it was thought that evolutionary processes occurred at a much slower pace than demographic/ecological processes. Nobody, ever thought about incorporating both processes into the same ...
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276 views

What is the percentage of people living in England in 1500 AD whose lineage is still alive?

This sounds a bit random, but it stems from a lecture in statistical genetics which I attended a while ago. We were shown a population lineage graph from which it was clear that most lineages ...
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Variance in Fst in the infinite island model

The most famous result in the study of structured populations come from Sewall Wright. He showed that in an island model, where each subpopulation is of size $N$ and the migration rate is $m$, then ...
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206 views

Why does the number of mutations per individuals follow a Poisson distribution?

I was reading this review. On page 11, left column, first paragraph, one can read: [..] there is a Poisson distribution of the equilibrium number of mutations per individual, if fitness effects ...
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42 views

What are the limiting factors of pathogen population size in human populations?

I understand that one limiting factor in non-human animal populations is that increased pathogen populations decrease animal populations from killing them, which decreases the density of the animals, ...
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176 views

Is it theoretically possible to restore the Tiger population to 100,000?

The current global Tiger population is roughly 5100 according to Wikipedia. With habitat destruction and poaching continuing and no effective improvement in conservation, most likely the Tiger ...
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124 views

Forward versus backward numerical simulations in population genetics

My question is closely related to this post. There are a number of existing platforms to perform numerical individual-based simulation in populations genetics. An almost exhaustive list of such ...
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79 views

Better population models than the logistic equation [closed]

For modelling the population of a single species in a region, the logistic equation is used $$ \frac{dN}{dt} =kN\Big(1-\frac{N}{K}\Big) $$ where $N$ is the number of organisms, $K$ is the carrying ...
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32 views

How to calculate the number of sterile insects that must be released in SIT?

The sterile insect technique (SIT) is used to control insect pests through overwhelming the population in sterile males. The increase in sterile males released into an environment causes the increase ...
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33 views

Analytical Methods for Estimating Probability of Fixation

The probability of fixation $P$ of an allele is an very important measure and there exists several solutions to estimate this probability. Each method has its own assumptions and it is often hard to ...
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59 views

What is the probability of fixation for a mutant under fluctuating selection?

Here is an answer which explain how one can model the frequency of an allele that is under fluctuating selection (selection that varies through time). Not, thinking about fluctuating selection, there ...
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222 views

Expected time for a neutral allele to reach a frequency of $p_1$ when starting at frequency $p_0$

Kimura and Ohta (1968) showed that the expected time for a neutral allele to reach fixation (given that it will reach fixation) is $$\bar t(p_0)=-4N\left(\frac{1-p_0}{p_0}\right)\ln(1-p_0),$$ where ...
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152 views

Fixation rate at neutral loci

It is a classical result that the expected time for a neutral mutation to occur and to get fixed is $2 N \mu \frac{1}{2N} = \mu$, where $N$ is the population size and $\mu$ is the neutral mutation ...
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390 views

Why are the fertility rates of large predators kept low?

Predators at the top of a food chain, like lions, seem to have a relatively low fertility rate, which fits well to the ecosystem and avoids overpredation. But what is the mechanism that keeps the ...
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88 views

Mutation Rate in Multicellular Eukaryotes

I always hear people saying that the mutation rate is around $10^{-6}$ or $10^{-7}$. I don't even know if this number is the mutation rate of genes or of a single nucleotides and I actually (almost) ...
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100 views

Survival curve in early humans

The survival curve/function describes the probability of a given individual to survive to age $x$. In humans, today's survival function is very much influenced by medicine. This leads me to wonder ...
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82 views

How does the population fitness changes after a change in mutation rate

The mean population fitness as given by mutation load theory depends only on the genome-wide mutation rate ($U$). My question is: how many generations is needed to reach a new mutation load ...
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212 views

What is Environmental Robustness? Is it different from plasticity?

Hansen (2006) in his review uses the concept of environmental robustness independently of the other concepts of robustness (at pages 139 and 140) without defining ...
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165 views

How big should the human population be, as predicted by body mass?

I would guess there is a theory in biology which states that the population size for a given species is inversely proportional to the body mass of individuals in that species. In other words, there ...
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245 views

Drake's Law. What is the genome-wide mutation rate and what are the estimates?

Drake's rule Drake's rule states that the genome-wide mutation rate is more or less constant across all species — from E.coli to the house sparrow. Data From what I think being Drake's original ...
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101 views

How can we calculate the minimum sustainable number of the panda population?

I have a degree in Biology so I'm a little embarrassed that I never learned this, but... How do we know 1600 Pandas isn't enough? I know that we have historical numbers (although I couldn't find ...
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106 views

How to define “Quasifixation” in continuous approximation of finite population?

Background Many models including the famous very first models derived by Sir Ronald Fisher in his early career, assume infinite population size. In an infinite population, an allele can rise in ...
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84 views

Can “human exclusion zones” in national parks for preserving Wolves and Grizzlies be a good idea?

There are National Preserves in the National Parks where some human activities are permitted. But can it make sense to create "exclusion zones" so no human would be permitted in a certain area, not ...
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180 views

Effects of selection on effective population size

Background The effective population size ($N_e$) is a central concept of evolutionary biology and is influenced by several parameters. For example: sex ratio bias affects $N_e$ $\left(N_e = \frac{...
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246 views

Interpretation of graph from evolutionary biology

I am studying evolutionary biology, and been presented with this graph: I am having some difficulties understand its meaning. For a start, why is time measured as a fraction of the population size? ...
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Understanding the meaning of $s$ and $t$ in a population genetics equation

Sewall Wright in this article (1937) at the end of page 313 gives the equation: $$\Delta q = (s+tq)q(1-q) \space\space\space\space\space\space\space\space\space(1)$$ This equation is an ...
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489 views

Mutation-Selection-Drift Equilibrium

mutation-selection-drift equilibrium is one of the most important concept of population genetics. I could easily find the calculations for mutation-secltion equilibrium and for mutation-drift ...
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How many humans have been in my lineage? Is it almost the same for every human currently living?

If I were to count my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, and so on up till, say chimps, or the most common ancestor, or whatever that suits the more accurate answer, how many humans would ...
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Is there an association between environmental and mutational robustness?

The robustness of a genotype is the ability of this genotype to resist (always produce the same phenotype) to various parameters such as mutations and environment. The ability of a genotype to resist ...