Quantitative approaches to evolutionary biology traditionally consider evolutionary change in isolation from an important pressure in natural selection: the demography of coevolving populations. In Analysis of Evolutionary Processes, Fabio Dercole and Sergio Rinaldi have written the first comprehensive book on Adaptive Dynamics (AD), a quantitative modeling approach that explicitly links evolutionary changes to demographic ones. The book shows how the so-called AD canonical equation can answer questions of paramount interest in biology, engineering, and the social sciences, especially economics.
After introducing the basics of evolutionary processes and classifying available modeling approaches, Dercole and Rinaldi give a detailed presentation of the derivation of the AD canonical equation, an ordinary differential equation that focuses on evolutionary processes driven by rare and small innovations. The authors then look at important features of evolutionary dynamics as viewed through the lens of AD. They present their discovery of the first chaotic evolutionary attractor, which calls into question the common view that coevolution produces exquisitely harmonious adaptations between species. And, opening up potential new lines of research by providing the first application of AD to economics, they show how AD can explain the emergence of technological variety.
Analysis of Evolutionary Processes will interest anyone looking for a self-contained treatment of AD for self-study or teaching, including graduate students and researchers in mathematical and theoretical biology, applied mathematics, and theoretical economics.
"Any scientist interested in evolutionary theory should become familiar with the techniques presented here, and there is currently no better source."--Peter A. Abrams, American Journal of Human Biology
"The first comprehensive textbook on the methods and applications of adaptive dynamics, Analysis of Evolutionary Processes is very timely indeed. It will be of great interest not only to researchers already using AD but also to those who want to apply it but are not yet familiar with the methods. Dercole and Rinaldi's book is well written, self-contained, and suitable for self-study and teaching in applied mathematics and mathematical biology on the graduate and advanced undergraduate levels."--Stefan A. H. Geritz, University of Helsinki
"This is a major achievement--a self-contained presentation of the adaptive dynamics approach, of its role within evolutionary theory, and of the kind of evolutionary dynamics that can be predicted. I believe it will become a standard text for researchers and students in evolutionary dynamics. To my knowledge there is no other book that presents the theory of AD, places it in a proper biological context, and develops it with an approach that is mathematically sound but not overwhelming."--Andrea Pugliese, University of Trento, Italy
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