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Thursday, May 26, 2011
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)

Postdoc Seminar

Behavioral Imprint on the Taylor Power Law in Ecology, West Nile Virus and the City.

Horacio Samaniego
T-2 and CNLS

In this talk, I will go through an overview of my latest research activities. I will start with an attempt to provide biological explanations to the Taylor Power Law in ecology. This mean-variance scaling of population abundance has been shown to be widespread, however the debate is still open as to why it exist in the first place. I provide a simple, and empirical, model explaining how two related species of Jays with radically different behavior comply with the expectations of proposed explanation for this law. I will then show recent work on understanding the effect of the ecological community structure on the transmission of West Nile Virus in North America. Using a multi-species epidemiological model, I show a significant negative correlation with WNV in humans, and a similar positive correlation with WNV in birds as a result of mosquitoes feeding behavior from more competent avian hosts to human spillover hosts. Finally if time allows, I will present preliminary results on cnls-based research on urban dynamics and the role of diversity for city performance.

Host: Peter Loxley, loxley@lanl.gov