2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Population Dynamics: The Maternal Effect
Christopher M. Owens
Dr. Peter Rolnick (Retired), Faculty Mentor

A complete model of a population's dynamics is necessarily complicated, but we can learn much from a simpler model if it includes the most important interactions. The existence of an important maternal effect in population dynamics is currently being questioned. The maternal effect, proposed by Lev Ginzburg, proposes that a healthy parent produces more viable offspring, which results in population effects similar to the inertia of a mass in Newtonian physics. We are observing the effect of the health of grandparents in Paramecium aurelia on the growth rates of their grandchildren. The data are then compared to a standard population model and a model which includes the maternal effect, and the importance of the maternal effect in population dynamics will be evaluated.

Keywords: Population Dynamics, Paramecium aurelia, Population Modeling

Topic(s):Physics
Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 21-4
Location: VH 1408
Time: 10:30

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