Mathematical modelling is widely used in ecology and evolutionary biology and it is a topic that many biologists find difficult to grasp. In this new textbook Marc Mangel provides a no-nonsense introduction to the skills needed to understand the principles of theoretical and mathematical biology. Fundamental theories and applications are introduced using numerous examples from current biological research, complete with illustrations to highlight key points. Exercises are also included throughout the text to show how theory can be applied and to test knowledge gained so far. Suitable for advanced undergraduate courses in theoretical and mathematical biology, this book forms an essential resource for anyone wanting to gain an understanding of theoretical ecology and evolution.
*Grounded in real biological problems, this book helps readers see the immediate relevance of mathematics
*Written in a friendly style with exercises interspersed throughout the text
*Contains a mixture of deterministic and stochastic methods
Preface; 1. Four examples and a metaphor; 2. Topics from ordinary and partial differential equations; 3. Probability and some statistics; 4. The evolutionary ecology of parasitoids; 5. The population biology of disease; 6. An introduction to some of the problems of sustainable fisheries; 7. The basics of stochastic population dynamics; 8. Applications of stochastic population dynamics to ecology, evolution and biodemography.
Marc Mangel is Professor of Mathematical Biology and Fellow of Stevenson College at the University of California, Santa Cruz campus.
'!this is a hugely engaging and interesting book. It's written with many asides and snippets of information about the topic, and particularly about the key figures in the history of theoretical biology ! I do recommend this book as an excellent read and insight into the methodology of the theoretical biologist at work !' Biologist '[the author] goes to considerable lengths to generate the necessary thirst through metaphor, humour, and through the clarity with which he writes about the subject. At the same time he is realistic about the need ultimately to get out a pencil and paper, and to work through the exercises, as the key to making real progress in understanding. ! The blend of deterministic and stochastic modelling nicely captures the pulse of current thinking in theoretical ecology, and is a real strength of this book ! For me, part of the charm of the book is its quirkiness, and I will be recommending it to my graduate students.' Fish and Fisheries