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Title: Some models from mathematical population genetics with fluctuations in the environment
Author: Klimek, Aleksnader
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 6051
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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We are interested in populations in which the fitness of different genetic types fluctuates in time and space, driven by temporal and spatial fluctuations in the environment. For simplicity, our population is assumed to be composed of just two genetic types. Short bursts of selection acting in opposing directions drive to maintain both types at intermediate frequencies, while the fluctuations due to 'genetic drift' work to eliminate variation in the population. We consider first a population with no spatial structure, modelled by an adaptation of the Lambda (or generalised) Fleming-Viot process, and derive a stochastic differential equation as a scaling limit. This amounts to a limit result for a Lambda-Fleming-Viot process in a rapidly fluctuating random environment. We then extend to a population that is distributed across a spatial continuum, which we model through a modification of the spatial Lambda-Fleming-Viot process with selection. In this setting we show that the scaling limit is a stochastic partial differential equation. As is usual with spatially distributed populations, in dimensions greater than one, the 'genetic drift' disappears in the scaling limit, but here we retain some stochasticity due to the fluctuations in the environment, resulting in a stochastic partial differential equation driven by a noise that is white in time but coloured in space. We discuss the (rather limited) situations under which there is a duality with a system of branching and annihilating particles. We also write down a system of equations that captures the frequency of descendants of particular subsets of the population and use this same idea of 'tracers', which we learned from Hallatschek and Nelson (2008) and Durrett and Fan (2016), in numerical experiments with a closely related model based on the classical Moran model. We also investigate the behaviour of an establishing mutation which is subject to rapidly fluctuating selection under the Lambda-Fleming-Viot model and show that under a suitable scaling it converges to the Feller diffusion in a random environment. We then extend to a population that is distributed across a spatial continuum. In this setting the scaling limit is the SuperBrownian motion in a random environment. The scaling results for the behaviour of the rare allele are achieved via particle representations which belong to the family of 'lookdown constructions'.
Supervisor: Etheridge, Alison Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mathematics