Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

Title: Competition Graphs and the Dimensions of Biodiversity

Speaker: Fred Roberts, DIMACS, Rutgers University

Date: Monday, October 10, 2011 11:00am - 12:00pm

Location: DIMACS Center, CoRE Bldg, Room 431, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


One of the great concerns with climate change and global change more generally is the effect on the diversity of life on the planet and an indicator of global change is the level of biodiversity. There is a long history of attempts to define this concept precisely, but the difficulty is that this concept has many dimensions. We will explore the idea of deriving biodiversity starting from properties of ecosystems, in particular normal, healthy competition between species. We will introduce an old idea of Joel Cohen's, the notion of competition graph corresponding to a food web, and study the number of dimensions needed to account for competition using ideas from the theory of vertex-edge graphs.

DIMACS/CCICADA Interdisciplinary Series, Complete Fall Calendar 2011