Extinction of Established Populations: A Physicist's View

01:00 05-11-2012

November 05, 2012, 14:00
Professor Baruch Meerson, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Seminar Room 424/8
Extinction of Established Populations: A Physicist's ViewExtinction of an isolated population after maintaining a long-lived established community is a dramatic phenomenon. It ultimately occurs, even in the absence of detrimental environmental variations, because of the intrinsic stochasticity of birth and death processes. I will show how one can use a variant of WKB approximation (after Wentzel, Kramers and Brillouin) to evaluate the mean time to extinction of an established stochastic population. In this approximation the most likely path of the population to extinction is given by a special trajectory (a separatrix) of an underlying effective classical Hamiltonian