Fall 2014 Seminar

Talks are 12:00 noon on Thursdays in Olin 268, unless otherwise noted.

September 11, 2014

The Living Cell as Viewed by a Physicist

Ben Vollmayr-Lee

Ben Vollmayr-Lee, Bucknell University

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September 25, 2014

Evolution and Survival at Inflating Frontiers

Max Lavrentovich

Max Lavrentovich, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: Populations of individuals often migrate or divide into new territory. Such range expansions occur in microbial colonies, expanding animal populations, viral infections, etc. In many cases, the individuals at the population frontier have to compete for space. The competition and the shape of the frontier have dramatic consequences for the evolutionary dynamics of the population. We study the survival probability of mutations occurring at inflating frontiers which increase in size over time. A frontier inflates, for example, when the population is spreading out radially. We find that inflating frontiers can enhance mutation survival probability by orders of magnitude relative to frontiers that stay the same size. Finally, we consider the fate of a population undergoing irreversible, deleterious mutations. These mutations can lead to a loss of the fittest members of the population. The loss occurs more readily in spatially distributed populations.

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October 9, 2014

Title to be announced

Marty Ligare

Martin Ligare, Bucknell University


October 16, 2014

Making Cells with Active Microtubule Mixtures

Jennifer Ross

Jennifer Ross, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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October 30, 2014

Title to be announced

Douglas Edmonds

Douglas Edmonds, Emory and Henry College


November 13, 2014

Title to be announced

Royce Zia

Royce Zia, Virginia Tech


December 4, 2014. Joint Math/Physics & Astronomy Seminar.

Title to be announced

Erik Bollt

Erik Bollt, Department of Mathematics, Clarkson University