The goal of the course is to help students of Evolutionary Biology to understand how mathematical models in population dynamics are built and then studied. Special attention will be paid to biological assumptions and to the corresponding mathematical translation. Coherently with classical undergraduate courses given in foreign Universities, the student will be introduced to discrete and continuous dynamical systems, with focus on equilibria and their (linear) stability: applications to prey-predators, parassitoidism, competition and cooperation will be presented. Moreover, a small part of the course will present the mathematical treatment of fitness. In general, the overall idea is to educate students to parts of Mathematics which are internationally used for modeling biology.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have: * knowledge of simple mathematical models, in order to understand both at a qualitative and quantitative level biological phenomena. * ability to interpret classical mathematical models in population dynamics (Ecology and Epidemiology) * basic knowledge of a quantitative formulation of the Theory of Evolution. * increased background in mathematical tools widespread in any field of Science, mainly Dynamical Systems, both in discrete and continuous time (ODE).
Lesson period: First semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)