Probabilistic Structures in Evolution


  • Ellen Baake

    Universität Bielefeld, Germany
  • Anton Wakolbinger

    Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt a.M., Germany
Probabilistic Structures in Evolution cover

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The present volume collects twenty-one survey articles about probabilistic aspects of biological evolution. They cover a large variety of topics from the research done within the German Priority Programme SPP 1590.

Evolution is a complex phenomenon driven by various processes, such as mutation and recombination of genetic material, reproduction of individuals, and selection of favourable types. These processes all have intrinsically random elements, which give rise to a wealth of phenomena that cannot be explained by deterministic models. Examples of such effects are the loss of genetic variability due to random reproduction and the emergence of random genealogies.

The collection is centred around the stochastic processes in population genetics and population dynamics. On the one hand, these are individual-based models of predator-prey and of coevolution type, of adaptive dynamics, or of experimental evolution, considered in the usual forward direction of time. They lead to processes describing the evolution of type frequencies, which may then be analysed via suitable limit theorems. On the other hand, one traces the ancestral lines of individuals back into the past; this leads to random genealogies. Beyond the classical concept of Kingman's coalescent, emphasis is on genealogies with multiple mergers and on ancestral structures that take into account selection, recombination, or migration.

The contributions in this volume will be valuable to researchers interested in stochastic processes and their biological applications, or in mathematical population biology.