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MMEE 2015 Mini-Symposium on Stochastic Community Models

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Originally posted on ecolog-L


Dear colleague,


this is an announcement of the mini-symposium on stochastic community models entitled


'Understanding the eco-evolutionary assembly of species-rich communities: The role of

stochastic community models'


that will be part of the MMEE 2015 conference on Mathematical Models in Ecology and

Evolution, to be held on Paris, France, July 8-10. The aims of the mini-symposium are described

below. Invited speakers are:


Carlos Melian, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland

James L. Rosindell, Imperial College, United Kingdom


Oral contributions are welcome. Submissions must be completed through the main conference





Deadline for submission is May, 1. Acceptance will be communicated after May, 15.


Organizers of the mini-symposium:

Jose A. Capitan and David Alonso, Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes, Spanish Council for

Scientific Research




The assembly of ecological communities is influenced by on-going speciation, stochastic drift,

never-ending disperal, and a wide range of selection processes. What do we need to disentangle

the relative role of all these processes? For the last years, mathematical/simulation models for

community assembly has become an important tool to assess the contribution of different

driving mechanisms to the eco-evolutionary assembly of species-rich communities in a variety of

spatio-temporal scales.


A succesfull assessment of competing mechanisms requires a remarkable blend of model

mathematical analysis, computer simulations, and emprical data confrontation. These three

complementary research areas have experienced a great deal of cross-fertilization when

adressing key questions in biodiversity research such as the role of competition and facilitation

for species coexistence, the structure of ecological networks, the effect of climate change on

species spatial distribution range shifts, and the impact of speciation and biogeography history

on current community-level aggegrated patterns.


Stochastic communitiy models of different levels of complexity have become a predominant tool

to address all these questions. For the last years we have seen a lot of progress, on the one

hand, on the mathematical analysis of these models, and, on the other, on the development of

statistical techniques to confront even quite complicated individual-based simulations to

empirical data, such as approximate bayesian computation.


The main goal of our mini-symposium is to gather scientists together to discuss cutting-edge

research at the center of the magical triangle between model mathematical analysis, individual-

based computer simulations, and data-based model comparision. We are looking forward to

seeing new inspirational insights into community assembly and species-coexistence in species-

rich communities as a result of this mini-symposium.

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