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Modelling biological behaviour

Professor Mark Broom co-authors a text book with Dr Jan Rychtar examining 'abstract and practical mathematical models of real biological situations'.
by John Stevenson

Professor of Mathematics, Professor Mark Broom, has recently co-authored "Game-Theoretical Models in Biology", with Dr Jan Rychtar, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

nullRigorously discussing static aspects of game theory and exploring multiple applications of game theory to biology, the book will appeal to mathematicians and biologists.

Genetics and the study of evolution have over the last two centuries been significantly enhanced by mathematical modelling.

One of the key contributions was the theory of evolutionary games, which was developed by biologists John Maynard Smith and William Hamilton.

Professor Broom and Dr Rychtar describe the theory of evolutionary games including matrix games, asymmetric games and multiplayer games, as well as important games including the hawk-dove game and the prisoner's dilemma.

Additionally, the book covers biological phenomena such as, why the sex ratio of so many species is close to one half, the evolution of cooperative behaviour and the existence of animal adornments (such as the peacock's tail), using ideas underpinned by game theoretical modelling.

Professor Broom says the book, published by CRC Press, "will be of value to researchers and students interested in examining the relationship between the zoological and biological sciences and mathematics, particularly game theory."

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